European equity benchmarks were trading higher on Monday morning as gains from car-makers and housing developers offset contractions among commodities stocks amid a higher dollar.
The Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the US currency against a basket of foreign currencies, was 0.18% higher at the time of writing. As a dollar-denominated commodity, oil tends to be less affordable for foreign buyers when the greenback is higher.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the main US oil benchmark, was 1.7% lower at $48.29 per barrel at the time of writing while brent oil, the international oil gauge, was 1.8% lower at $49.96 per barrel. Miners Royal Dutch Shell, Fresnillo and BP were 0.3%, 6.2% and 0.4% lower, respectively, at the time of writing.
Also potentially feeding into the positive trading sentiment were comments made by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in a speech delivered on Sunday. Fischer stated that core personal consumption expenditures inflation in the US, at 1.6%, was "within hailing distance of 2 per cent". The Fed's dual mandate aims for maximum sustainable employment and an inflation rate of 2%.
Fischer also pointed out that employment had increased "impressively" over the past six years and said that "looking ahead, I expect GDP growth to pick up in coming quarters, as investment recovers from a surprisingly weak patch and the drag from past dollar appreciation diminishes."
In equities, housing development companies Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley Group were 2.0% and 1.7% higher, respectively, on London's FTSE 100 Index while Hikma Pharmaceuticals was up by 1.0%.
On Frankfurt's DAX, automotive engineering company Daimler was up by 1.5%, followed by kidney dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care, 1.2% higher, and building materials manufacturer HeidelbergCement, up by 0.1%.
And, on Paris' CAC-40, hypermarket operator Carrefour was 3.0% higher, followed by auto-maker Peugeot, up by 2.3% and financial services provider AXA, up by 2.1%. Car manufacturer Renault was up by 1.7%.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was up by 0.65%, the FTSE 100 was 0.01% higher, the DAX was up by 0.81% and the CAC-40 was 0.68% higher.
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