BANGKOK (AP) — World markets were mostly higher Monday amid signs that Europe appeared to be getting control of its debt crisis and as traders awaited a slew of economic data from the U.S. this week.
Oil prices rose to near $85 a barrel as investors looked to this week's key jobs report for evidence the U.S. economy is improving. In currencies, the dollar dropped against the yen and the euro.
Markets reacted positively to an emergency aid package for Ireland agreed to over the weekend to prevent its banks from going belly-up. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.8 percent to 5,717.52. Germany's DAX rose 0.7 percent to 6,893.97 and France's CAC-40 jumped 1 percent to 3,767.20. Wall Street was set to open higher after a strong holiday shopping weekend in the U.S., with Dow futures up 0.7 percent to 11,106. Broader S&P futures were ahead by 0.8 percent at 1,192.70.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 0.9 percent to close at 10,125.99, buoyed by a stronger dollar. Shares of electronics, auto and other exporting companies led gains as weakness in the yen can boost their profits from overseas.
South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,895.54 and Australia's S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.4 percent, to 4,618.5. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.3 percent to 23,166.22.
Chinese shares were mixed as cautious investors watched for fresh moves to tighten monetary policy and counter inflation. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gave up 0.2 percent to 2,866.36. The Shenzhen Composite Index of China's smaller, second exchange gained 0.5 percent to 1,339.31.
Jackson Wong, vice president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong, said many investors were holding back in anticipation of a slew of economic data due out of the U.S. this week.
The U.S. Labor Department will release third-quarter productivity data and U.S. employment data for November, while the Institute for Supply Management will release its manufacturing index for November. Vehicle and retail sales figures for November will also be released, along with factory orders for October.
"We have tons of economic data coming from the U.S. this week, so that is why the market is quiet, without major direction," he said. Some issues — such as tensions on the Korean peninsula and Europe's debt woes — have cast a pall over markets but not enough to freeze up trading.
Friday, meanwhile, marked the unofficial start of the U.S. holiday shopping season. The markets were responding positively to initial strong sales on Friday and over the weekend, Wong said.
Also helping ease market tensions was news over the weekend that the European Union had agreed to give euro 67.5 billion ($89.4 billion) in bailout loans for Ireland to help it weather its banking crisis.
The rescue deal, approved by finance ministers at an emergency meeting in Brussels, means two of the eurozone's 16 nations have now come to depend on foreign help and underscores Europe's struggle to contain its spreading debt crisis. The fear is that with Greece and now Ireland shored up, speculative traders will target the bloc's other weak fiscal links, particularly Portugal. Underlying all those concerns is that the contagion would spread to Spain, a major economy whose implosion would have serious repercussions for the euro.
Worries about an escalation between the Koreas weighed on some stocks, although Wong suggested that investors viewed the situation as stable. Joint military exercises involving a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier and a South Korean destroyer continued Monday, nearly a week after a deadly attack on a South Korean island sent tensions soaring in the region.
In New York on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 95.28, or 0.9 percent, to 11,092. The S&P 500 index was down 8.95, or 0.8 percent, to 1,189.40. The Nasdaq composite index fell 8.56, or 0.3 percent, to 2,534.56. Overall, stocks ended the week mixed. The Dow ended 112 points lower, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 10. However, the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 17 points for the week.
Benchmark oil for January delivery was up $1.16 to $84.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 10 cents to settle at $83.76 on Friday.
The dollar dropped to 83.91 yen from 84.07 yen late Friday in New York, but still well above the 80-yen levels of a month ago. The euro rose to $1.3285 from $1.3240.