Global shares rise with focus on Europe and Asia, while US markets take a breather after weaker start to the year

US markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, with Q4 earnings reports due Tuesday.
Economic growth reports in Europe and Asia expected to be focus this week as China reports sluggish growth.
Cardano soared over the weekend, bringing gains for the “ethereum killer” to 30% in the last 7 days.
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Global shares edged up on Monday in thinner trade than usual, given US markets were closed for a public holiday, leaving investors to pour over Chinese economic data.

US markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr public holiday, meaning no trading in stocks or bonds. 

The major benchmark indices bounced back towards the end of last week, having hit three-month lows on the back of growing fears of a far less stocks-friendly environment if US interest rates rise quickly and inflation refuses to die down.

Earnings reports are expected to be the main market movers in the US this week, given that Federal Reserve policymakers will not be making any public comments ahead of next week’s interest-rate decision. 

Fourth-quarter earnings season continues on Tuesday in the US after kicking off Friday with JPMorgan beating expectations and posting profits of $10.4 billion. 

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose 0.5%, boosted by gains in the media, technology and healthcare sectors. 

“Today’s market open looks set to see European stocks open higher, with the main focus this week, away from US earnings, set to be on the latest wages, unemployment and inflation numbers from the UK economy, and the Bank of Japan tomorrow.” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said.

In Asia, the Chinese central bank cut borrowing costs for medium-term loans for the first time in almost two years to help protect the economy from further slowdown, following data that showed GDP growth of just 4% in the final quarter of 2021 after outbreaks of Covid and property market woes stifled activity. 

Meanwhile, tensions between Russia and Ukraine continued over the weekend as the Ukrainian government warned citizens to “be afraid and expect the worst.” This increased risk sentiment will likely continue as talks between the US, its NATO allies and Russia didn’t progress. 

Finally, in the cryptocurrency market things stayed relatively flat over the weekend with some altcoins seeing gains while bitcoin and ethereum remained largely unchanged. Cardano was the big winner though, jumping 30% over the past week and up over 10% in the last 24 hours. 

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