Scoreboard: Ukraine relief

Markets on both sides of the Atlantic were boosted by easing geopolitical tensions, while oil prices fell on the improved sentiment and news of higher crude supplies.

In US economic data, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market index rose from 53 to 55 in August -- the third straight gain and above forecasts of 53.

European shares rebounded on Monday with investors encouraged by news of diplomatic efforts to ease Russia-Ukraine tensions. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 1.2 per cent with the German Dax up 1.7 per cent and UK FTSE lifting by 0.8 per cent. Australia's major miners rose in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton up by 0.8 per cent while Rio Tinto lifted by 0.2 per cent.

US sharemarkets bounced higher at the open of trade and then consolidated at the highs through the day on an easing of geopolitical concerns across the globe. A rise in the homebuilder sentiment index helped housing-dependent stocks with the PHLX housing sector index up 1.4 per cent. The oil price also fell, boosting airline stocks. The Dow Jones index rose by 176 points or 1.1 per cent with the S&P 500 index up by 0.9 per cent while the Nasdaq gained 43 points or 1 per cent to 14-year highs.

US treasury prices fell on Monday (yields higher) as geopolitical tensions eased in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and US economic data printed above expectations. US 2-year yields were up 1 point to 0.423 per cent while US 10-year yields were up by 5 points to 2.393 per cent.

Major currencies ended mixed against the US dollar after European and US sessions on Monday. The euro eased from highs near $US1.3395 to around $US1.3355, before ending US trade near $US1.3360. The Australian dollar held between US93.10c and US93.35c before ending the US session close to US93.20c. And the Japanese yen eased from 102.30 yen per US dollar to JPY102.58, ending US trade near JPY102.55.

World oil prices fell to 14-month lows on Monday on an easing of geopolitical concerns about Ukraine and Iraq and news of higher crude supplies from Libya. Brent crude fell by $US1.93 or 1.9 per cent to $US101.60 a barrel and the US Nymex price eased by US94c a barrel or 1 per cent to $US96.41 a barrel.

Base metal prices rose by up to 1.2 per cent on Monday with aluminium up the most. But nickel lost 0.9 per cent and tin fell 0.2 per cent. Gold prices fell on Monday as geopolitical tensions eased with the Comex gold futures quote down by $US6.90 or 0.5 per cent to $US1,299.30 per ounce. Iron ore fell by US10c on Monday to $US93.30 a tonne. 

Ahead: In Australia, weekly consumer confidence data is released with Reserve Bank Board minutes and imports. BHP Billiton is among a swag of companies releasing earnings results. In the US, data on consumer prices and housing starts are released.

Craig James is chief economist at Commsec.

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