European shares followed Asian markets higher Monday, after a report showing a weaker U.S. jobs market reduced chances of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year. U.S. jobs data, released Friday, showed that just 142,000 jobs were created in September, way below the forecast of 203,000.
The pan-European STOXX 600 opened sharply higher, and was trading up 2.2 percent. London’s FTSE 100 was 2 percent higher -- regaining almost 50 percent from last week’s record low. Germany’s DAX index traded up 2.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 saw a 3 percent rise.
“After a couple of weeks spent focusing on the bad news reasoning for the Fed holding fire in September (emerging markets slowdown, market volatility, commodity price rout, etc), the prospect of looser monetary policy lingering for longer is dominating and benefiting risk appetite once again,” U.K.-based Accendo Markets said, in a note to investors.
European markets were also lifted by a surge in the shares of commodities giant Glencore Plc, which was trading up nearly 10 percent, and a small rally in oil prices, which gave energy shares a boost.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures also rose, indicating that Wall Street was set to extend Friday’s rally. S&P 500 and Dow futures were up more than 0.5 percent, while Nasdaq futures rose 0.7 percent.
Earlier in the day, prospects of lower interest rates and a prolonged availability of low-cost funds pushed Asian stocks up. While Chinese markets were closed for a holiday, other markets in the region traded higher.
India’s S&P BSE Sensex and the Nifty index closed up 2.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed 1.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index gained 0.4 percent -- paring its gains in afternoon trade. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also rose to a two-week high, before closing up 1.6 percent.
Traders also seemed to dismiss news that the World Bank downgraded its East Asia growth forecast to 6.5 percent for 2015, from an earlier 6.7 percent -- taking it as a sign of imminent stimulus measures to offset a slowing economy.