A job promoter sits close to list of job offers posted along a main street in downtown Sao Paulo November 19, 2014. Brazil's unemployment rate fell unexpectedly in October despite widening layoffs in manufacturing and construction, in welcome news for Pre
A job promoter sits close to list of job offers posted along a main street in downtown Sao Paulo November 19, 2014. Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

* In US economic data, the employment trends index rose from 127.83 to 128.43 in December.

* European shares rose on Monday. Falling oil prices drove the market, lifting airline stocks and weighing on the energy sector. Shares in Lufthansa rose by 1.7%. Greek shares rose 3.8%. Reuters reports that "polls over the weekend continued to show the far left Syriza party is leading by a small margin and would need to seek alliances to form a government." The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.6% with the German Dax up by 1.4% and the UK FTSE was flat (up less than 1 point). In London trade shares in BHP Billiton lost 1.8% while Rio Tinto fell by 2.0%.

* US sharemarkets eased again on Monday with the ongoing slide in oil prices weighing on the energy sector - the S&P Energy sector fell by 2.8%. Traders focussed on a number of mergers in the pharmaceutical sector. There was caution by investors ahead of the start of earnings season. After being down 165 points at one stage, the Dow Jones closed lower by 96 points or 0.5% with the S&P 500 index down by 0.8% and the Nasdaq fell by 39 points or 0.8%. After the bell shares in Alcoa rose by 2.0% after releasing earnings.

* US treasuries rose on Monday (yields lower) with solid demand for a $24 billion auction of 3-year notes. US 2 year yields fell by 2pts to 0.55% while US 10 year yields fell by 4pts to 1.91%.

* Major currencies fell against the greenback in European and US trade on Monday, clawing back some of Friday's losses. The Euro fell from highs near US$1.1870 to lows near US$1.1765 and was near US$1.1835 in afternoon US trade. The Aussie dollar fell from highs near US82.55c to lows around US81.30c and was near

US81.55c in afternoon US trade. And the Japanese yen eased from 118.10 yen per US dollar to JPY119.29 and was back near JPY118.35 in afternoon US trade.

* World oil prices fell again on Monday with more analysts updating their calls for how far prices can fall. Smaller OPEC oil producers are suffering from the price drop and on Saturday, Reuters reported that

Iran vowed to help Venezuela stem the oil price fall. Brent crude fell by US$2.68 or 5.3% to US$47.43 a barrel while the US Nymex crude price fell by US$2.29 or 4.7% to US$46.07 a barrel.

* Base metal prices were lower by up to 1.4% on the London Metal Exchange on Monday. Nickel led the declines but tin rose by 1.8% with aluminium up 0.1%. Gold rose on Monday as investors continued to embrace safe-haven assets. The Comex gold futures price was up by US$16.70 an ounce or 1.4% to US$1,232.80 per ounce. Iron ore fell by US$1.30 to US$68.50 a tonne on Monday.

Ahead: In Australia, weekly consumer confidence data is released. In China, trade data is released. In the US, the Federal Budget, JOLTS job openings series and NFIB business optimism index are issued.

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