Stocks edge higher, as bitcoin attempts recovery

Bitcoin tries to bounce back

European and US stocks advanced Monday after a mixed session in Asia, while bitcoin tried to rally after a weekend plunge.

London's FTSE 100 index was 0.5 percent higher as trading ended for the day, while the Paris CAC 40 added 0.4 percent.

Muted European exchanges earlier in the day ended with gains after upbeat trading got underway in New York.

Frankfurt was one of a number of exchanges shut owing to a public holiday.

Bitcoin jumped to around $38,000, after dropping again Sunday towards $30,000.

The last time it fell below that level was in January.

The cryptocurrency has experienced extreme volatility in recent weeks after a series of tweets by tech tycoon Elon Musk and warnings of a crackdown by China.

"The public holiday in parts of Europe, combined with light news flow over the weekend has meant that the week has kicked off in a relatively quiet fashion," said OANDA markets analyst Sophie Griffiths.

"The lack of any major earnings and a bare economic calendar mean the markets could be short of fresh catalysts," she added.

- Eyes on US inflation -

As US traders waited for leads from data on consumer confidence and durable goods orders in the coming days, Wall Street's Dow index posted a gain of 0.7 percent in midday trades.

Asian bourses were mixed meanwhile, as inflation concerns played off against optimism over the global economic recovery, while spiking infections in parts of the region kept investors on their toes.

With expectations that the global recovery will pick up pace this year, a key focus is now on US inflation data due on Friday.

Observers warn that a long period of high inflation would force central banks to wind back the ultra-loose monetary policies that have helped fire a long-running market rally.

Adding to upward pressure on inflation is US President Joe Biden's massive stimulus package passed earlier this year, along with others worth trillions more for infrastructure and help for families.

- Oil prices rise again -

Oil prices extended Friday's rally as the reopening of economies narrative weighed more than worries about the impact of a possible Iran nuclear deal that would see more crude available on the market.

A storm in the Gulf of Mexico that could develop into a hurricane has also raised the prospect of some production facilities being taken offline.

"There's a lot of vaccine-driven demand optimism in the US and Europe that's likely to be further boosted by the summer driving season next month," noted Kim Kwangrae, of Samsung Futures.

- Key figures around 1630 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 34,436.81 points

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 4,034.23

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,051.59 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 6,408.49 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 percent at 15,347.51 (closed)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 28,364.61 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.2 percent at 28,412.26 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,497.28 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2211 from $1.2182 at 2100 GMT on Friday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.4152 from $1.4150

Euro/pound: UP at 86.28 pence from 86.09 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.78 yen from 108.96 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.5 percent at $68.07 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.7 percent at $65.30 per barrel

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