Scoreboard: German stumble

European markets fell after German industrial production recorded its biggest decline in two years, while the Australian dollar lifted but remains below US94c.

In US economic data, the Employment Trends index rose from 119.03 to 119.62 in June. In European economic data, German production fell by 1.8 per cent in May, the biggest reduction in two years and well below market expectations.

European shares fell on Monday in response to the weak German economic data. The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 0.9 per cent, the German Dax lost 1 per cent while the UK FTSE fell by 0.6 per cent. Australia's major miners finished lower in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton down by 0.8 per cent while Rio Tinto lost 0.7 per cent.

US sharemarkets eased on Monday with some investors choosing to book profits ahead of the start of earnings season. There was little in the way of corporate or economic news to cause traders or investors to adopt new positions. The Dow Jones fell by 44 points or 0.3 per cent with the S&P 500 index down by 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 34 points or 0.8 per cent.

US treasury prices rose on Monday (yields lower) with traders and investors taking profits in the sharemarket and putting money to work in government bonds. US 2-year yields were flat at 0.516 per cent while US 10-year yields fell by 3 points to 2.617 per cent.

Major currencies rose against the US dollar on Monday. The euro rose from lows near US$1.3575 to highs near $US1.3610, closing US trade near $US1.3605. The Australian dollar rose from lows near US93.50c to highs near US93.75c and ended US trade near US93.70c. And the Japanese yen lifted from 102.13 yen per US dollar to JPY101.78, ending US trade near JPY101.83.

World oil prices eased on Monday with all manner of fears about supply disruptions failing to be realised into actual reductions in production or exports from key producers. Also lower German production data suggested weaker oil demand lay ahead. Brent crude fell by US40c or 0.4 per cent to $US110.24 a barrel and the US Nymex price closed lower by US43c or 0.4 per cent to $US103.63 a barrel. 

Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange on Monday. Zinc lifted most, up 1.1 per cent, and lead rose 0.5 per cent. But other metals fell up to 0.5 per cent. The Comex gold futures quote fell by $US3.60 or 0.3 per cent to $US1,317.00 per ounce. Iron ore fell by US60c a tonne or 0.6 per cent to $US95.90 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, the NAB business survey is released. In the US, data on weekly chain store sales is released together with consumer credit figures. Alcoa releases earnings results after the bell on Tuesday.