OIL PRICE: NOT ABOVE $72
REUTERS - Asian share markets were mixed and oil prices fell on Monday as relief U.S.-led strikes on Syria looked unlikely to escalate was tempered by concerns at Russia's potential reaction to new sanctions from Washington.
With the situation in the Middle East still fluid, moves were modest and in both directions. EMini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 nudged up 0.38 percent, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 added 0.2 percent.
Yet MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.4 percent as Chinese blue chips .CSI300 took an early 0.7 percent dip.
The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.
But with President Donald Trump declaring mission accomplished, investors wagered the worst had been avoided.
"Trump was able to enforce his chemical weapons red line without crossing the threshold for Russian retaliation," analysts at JPMorgan said in a note.
"Stocks were concerned about a prolonged and expanded U.S. campaign toward Assad and that doesn't look probable."
Safe-haven assets eased in response, with yields on U.S. 10-year Treasury debt US10YT=RR up two basis points at 2.84 percent.
The dollar was a fraction firmer on the yen at 107.40 JPY=, up on last week's low around 106.62.
Dealers were keeping a wary eye on Japanese politics after a survey showed support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had fallen to 26.7 percent, the lowest since he took office in late 2012.
Abe's sliding ratings are raising doubts over whether he can win a third three-year term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader in a September vote, or whether he might even resign before the party election.
The euro was steady at $1.2330 EUR=, while the dollar index eased a touch to 89.772 .DXY.
In commodity markets, gold gained 0.1 percent to $1,346.61 an ounce XAU=, but remained well short of last week's peak at $1,365.23.
Oil prices slipped with Brent crude futures LCOc1 off 66 cents at $71.92 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 fell 56 cents to $66.83 a barrel.
Looking ahead, the U.S. earnings season kicks into high gear this week with Thomson Reuters data predicting profits at S&P 500 companies increased by 18.6 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, their biggest rise in seven years.
Yet with expectations so high, bank shares ran into profit-taking on Friday after a batch of mixed results.
In Asia, China reports its gross domestic product for the first quarter on Tuesday with market forecasts clustered around growth of 6.7 percent to 6.8 percent.
The United States reports retail sales later on Monday and there are around 15 Federal Reserve speakers in the diary for the week.
Also this week, the IMF will hold its spring meetings of central bankers and finance ministers in Washington.
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IMF - Within the next few years, the U.S. economy is expected to enter its longest expansion in recorded history. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the approved increase in spending are providing a significant boost to the economy. We forecast growth of close to 3 percent this year but falling from that level over the medium-term. In my discussions with Secretary Mnuchin he was clear that he regards our medium-term outlook as too pessimistic. Frankly, I hope he is right. That would be good for both the U.S. and the world economy.
IMF - The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation. Unemployment is already near levels not seen since the late 1960s and growth is set to accelerate, aided by a near-term fiscal stimulus, a welcome recovery of private investment, and supportive financial conditions. These positive outturns have supported, and been reinforced by, a favorable external environment with a broad-based pick up in global activity. Next year, the U.S. economy is expected to mark the longest expansion in its recorded history. The balance of evidence suggests that the U.S. economy is beyond full employment.
U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April. Manufacturing production fell 0.7 percent in May, largely because truck assemblies were disrupted by a major fire at a parts supplier. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output moved down 0.2 percent. The index for mining rose 1.8 percent, its fourth consecutive month of growth; the output of utilities moved up 1.1 percent. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5 percent higher in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in May to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
IMF - South Africa’s potential is significant, yet growth over the past five years has not benefitted from the global recovery. The economy is globally positioned, sophisticated, and diversified, and several sectors—agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and services—have capacity for expansion. Combined with strong institutions and a young workforce, opportunities are vast. However, several constraints have held growth back. Policy uncertainty and a regulatory environment not conducive to private investment have resulted in GDP growth rates that have not kept up with those of population growth, reducing income per capita, and hurting disproportionately the poor.