European stocks surged higher Monday, while U.S. equity futures are pointing to at least a 200-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average as investors react to the passage of Senate tax bill that could both sharply increase corporate profitability and accelerate bets on near-term rate hikes.
Britain's FTSE 100 added around 50 points, or 0.7%, at the start of trading, with banks and basic resource firms leading the early charge even as the pound tests multi-month highs of 1.3454 amid reports of a breakthrough on talks between London, Brussels and Dublin over the U.K.s so-called 'Brexit divorce bill".
Benchmarks around Europe were also notably firmer in the wake of Friday's late-hour tax bill agreement in the Senate, with Germany's DAX performance index rising 155 points, taking it past the 13,000 mark in the opening hour of trading.
Equity futures tied to the Dow are trading more than 210 points higher than their Friday close, which saw stocks whipsaw from all-time highs to a 350-point drop after reports -- later corrected by ABC News -- suggested former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had been instructed by President Donald Trump's election campaign to make contact with Russian officials. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal investigators into Trump's campaign ties with Russia and said he would cooperate with the ongoing probe.
Futures linked to the S&P 500 were also trading 15.25 points, or 0.58% higher, at the start of the European trading session.
The U.S. dollar surged against a basket of its global peers and U.S. Treasury bond yields breached what could be a technically significant level Monday as global investors reacted to the late Friday passage of a Senate tax reform bill that could lead to recalibration of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major global currencies, was marked 0.41% higher in early European trading and changing hands at 93.27, the highest since Nov. 28. Benchmark U.S. Treasury bond yields, which briefly traded at 2.41% during the Asia session, were marked 3 basis points higher at 2.39%.
Curiously, the tax cut optimism failed to boost markets in Asia, even amid a surging U.S. dollar, which traded near a two-month peak against a basket of six global currencies as traders laid bets on the potential for faster-than-expected rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve should the Senate and the House come to terms on competing reform bills.
Japan's Nikkei 225 ended the session 0.5% lower at 22,706.16 points while the broadest measure of regional share prices, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index, was essentially unchanged heading into the start of European dealing.
Global oil prices were also active, but prices were heavy following last week's extension of OPEC production cuts in Vienna owing to the build-up of U.S. drilling installations and the assumption of faster domestic crude production in response to the OPEC/Russia agreement.
Brent futures contracts for February delivery, the global benchmark for prices, were seen 0.7% lower at $63.29 per barrel while WTI contracts for January were marked 1% lower at $57.77.
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