European Stocks Gain As EU Works To Boost Vaccine Supply

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European stocks surged Monday, bolstered by sectors expected to benefit from the post-Covid-19 economic recovery, while oil prices briefly surged above $71 per barrel following an attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Frankfurt's blue-chip DAX 30 index rose more than three percent, hitting an all-time record, as the European Union works to shrug off a disappointingly slow start to its Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Industrial and financial equities were among the big gainers in Frankfurt, as well as in Paris and London, which also closed higher.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen told a German newspaper, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, that vaccine deliveries to the European Union should double to 300 million doses between April and June compared to the first three months of 2021.

Wall Street had a mixed session, with the Dow jumping 1.0 percent and the Nasdaq sinking 2.4 percent as investors continued to bet on a strong recovery in industrial and travel companies and other likely winners of the post-coronavirus economy.

"Investors are still rotating out of tech and into economically sensitive cyclicals," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, adding that Monday's session was like a "microcosm" of last week's trading action.

Factors boosting stocks include progress on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package and increasing momentum behind coronavirus vaccines.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines saying that people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can gather indoors unmasked with others who have been vaccinated.

Those hopeful indicators have been countered by worries over rising inflation and the prospect of a dramatic shift in Federal Reserve monetary policy.

Benchmark oil contract Brent North Sea crude, which has been rising strongly on rebounding demand, broke Monday past $70 per-barrel for the first time since January 2020 after an attack on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Brent peaked at $71.38 -- the highest level since January 2020 -- before falling back under $70 per barrel.

The strike on the Aramco facilities -- including one of the world's biggest oil ports -- by Yemen's Huthi rebels Sunday followed the bombing of the country's capital Sanaa by a Saudi-led military coalition.

The rising hostilities underscore a dangerous intensification of Yemen's conflict between the coalition-backed Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Huthis, despite a renewed US push to end the war in the crude-rich region.

"It would appear that the realization that there doesn't appear to have been any damage inflicted on any production infrastructure, has seen prices slip back," said analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK.

While surging oil prices boosted share prices across the heavyweight energy sector, they "will only add to the key concern which is dogging (stock) markets -- namely the risk of runaway inflation and a resulting increase in interest rates", noted AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

New York - Dow: UP 1.0 percent at 31,802.44 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,821.35 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 2.4 percent at 12,609.16 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.3 percent at 6,719.13 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 3.3 percent at 14,380.91 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 2.1 percent at 5,902.99 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 2.6 percent at 3,763.24 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 28,743.25 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.9 percent at 28,540.83 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 2.3 percent at 3,421.41 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1848 from $1.1915 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3819 from $1.3841

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.68 pence from 86.08 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 108.88 yen from 108.31 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.6 percent at $68.24 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.6 percent at $65.05 per barrel

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