Higher open likely for the U.S. markets Monday as key U.S. stock index futures stood higher on Monday morning. The expectations on a better earnings season seemed to have lifted market sentiments. 

At 6:28 a.m. ET, Dow Jones futures jumped 53 points and pointed a positive open of around 41 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also moved up.

On Monday, results of Whirlpool and TD Ameritrade will come after the bell.

This week, many leading companies such as Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, McDonald’s and Boeing will be releasing their Q2 earnings.

Meanwhile, expectations on the U.S. central bank’s 50 basis point cut on interest rates are waning. A Wall Street Journal report suggested a 25 basis point cut can still be expected.

Oil price zooms

Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on Monday after tensions soared in the Middle East. Iran's reported seizure of a British tanker Friday as a retaliation to the loss of its tanker to the U.K in Gibraltar, a week ago, exacerbated tensions.

This raised concerns over supply disruptions in the energy-hub of Gulf, especially in Strait of Hormuz, considered the mouth of the Gulf, through which one-fifth of the world’s oil supply cargo moves.

Brent crude futures gained 2.26 percent to $63.88 a barrel by 0840 GMT. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped 2.03 percent at $56.76 a barrel.

This contrasts with WTI’s 7 percent and Brent’s more than 6 percent slide last week.

Tensions around Iran “have likely added to the already strong geopolitical risk premium”, said JBC Energy in a note.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast of growth in oil demand for 2019 to 1.275 million BPD saying the global economic activity is becoming disappointing.

Asian stocks down

Stocks in Asia fell on Monday after China floated the Nasdaq-style technology board on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and it started trading on Monday. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite slipped 1.27 percent.

The STAR market trading in Shanghai on Monday saw a surge in the shares of the first batch of 25 companies after they were oversubscribed before public debut.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 1.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.23 percent Topix index also fell 0.49 percent.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition returned to power in the country’s parliamentary elections on Sunday.  GettyImages-Stock market April 18 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 25, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

“I hope with the election out of the way, Abe feels the pressure is off him to take a hard line on trade issues with South Korea,” said Richard Martin, managing director at IMA Asia.

South Korea’s Kospi was marginally down while Australia’s  ASX 200 declined 0.14 percent.

European stocks were mixed on Monday trade as expectations of an aggressive interest rate cut by the U.S Fed started receding.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 jumped the flat line by mid-morning with basic resources stocks making good gains.

Gold price up

Gold prices jumped on Monday after tensions broke out in the Middle East and slowing of financial markets upped the demand for safe-haven assets. But a stronger dollar checked the big gains of gold.

Spot gold jumped 0.2 percent at $1,427.26 per ounce as of 0322 GMT. The metal broke a 6-year old price barrier on Friday when it hit $1,452.60.

The U.S. gold futures jumped 0.1 percent at $1,428.50 an ounce.

“Over the weekend, what happened between Iran and the United Kingdom is supporting gold prices today, ” said Brian Lan, managing director at GoldSilver Central in Singapore.