Oil prices surged to their highest since July 2015 on Monday as Saudi Arabia`s crown prince cemented his power with a crackdown on corruption, while world shares were little changed and key currencies stayed in tight ranges.
U.S. crude broke above $56 a barrel for the first time in more than two years as Mohammed bin Salman`s clampdown on graft led to arrests of royals, ministers and investors including prominent billionaire investor Alwaleed bin Talal.
Prince Mohammed`s reforms include a plan to list parts of giant state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco next year, with higher oil prices seen as beneficial for the market capitalisation of the future listed company.
The news spurred concerns of Middle Eastern money pulling out of global financial markets. A weekend call by China`s central bank governor for tougher financial regulation also hit global investor sentiment.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries was little changed, adding just 0.05 percent.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was 0.2 percent higher. Saudi Arabia`s own stock market fell as much as 1.5 percent before ending 0.1 percent higher, boosted in part by buying by government-linked funds. [EMRG/FRX]
Sentiment towards the U.S. dollar was still positive with leveraged funds paring bearish bets to be net long for the first time since late July.
"There is some ongoing adjustment in market expectations on the dollar`s outlook on the progress of the U.S. tax bill and on the ongoing Saudi situation but market moves have been in narrow ranges," said Alberto Gallo, head of macro strategies at Algebris Investments in London.NASDAQ AT PEAK
Two key Wall Street equity indexes were little changed in early trading, with investors focused on what could be the biggest merger in the technology sector.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index hit a new record high above 6,765.1238 level on news that chip maker Broadcom Ltd made an unsolicited bid to buy peer Qualcomm Inc for $103 billion.
The market was otherwise flat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.65 points, or 0.02 percent, to 23,542.84, while the S&P 500 gained 1.45 points, or 0.06 percent, to 6,780.37.
The U.S. dollar was little changed after investors took profits on its best weekly performance this year, with wariness about the status of the U.S. economy and tax reform plans setting the tone.
Facing pockets of discontent in their own Republican ranks, tax negotiators in the U.S. House of Representatives will seek to bridge differences over their far-reaching tax bill and stick to a self-imposed deadline of passage this month.
The index that measures the greenback against a basket of currencies rose 0.04 percent, with the euro down 0.19 percent to $1.1585.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.05 percent versus the greenback at 114.13 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3121, up 0.36 percent on the day.
The spread between two-year and 10-year U.S. yields was at the narrowest in more than a decade as sluggish domestic inflation underpinned demand for longer-maturity government bonds.
Treasuries Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 5/32 in price to yield 2.3253 percent, from 2.343 percent late on Friday.
The 30-year bond last rose 12/32 in price to yield 2.8035 percent, from 2.822 percent late on Friday.
Spot gold was up 0.24 percent at $1,272.04 an ounce.
For Reuters Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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