A bounce in oil and other commodities prodded stock markets higher on Monday, cushioning the hit to sentiment from a successful missile test by North Korea and a cyber attack that locked 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries. As Sonia Legg reports, another victory for Angela Merkel's conservatives in a regional election in Germany also helped share indices in Europe inch higher in early trade.
There was plenty to worry about but a missile test by North Korea and a global cyber attack wasn't enough to keep markets down. A bounce in oil and other commodities - after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to extend an oil output cut to tackle a glut - prodded them higher. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICHARD HUNTER, HEAD OF RESEARCH, WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, SAYING: "It's interesting that despite the scale of the attacks it's been estimated that there's been 200,000 victims in over 150 countries. It seems that the market reaction has been fairly muted in fact it's worth noting that it's the cyber security firms which have tended to have something of a good run on Monday morning as a result of the news." Another victory for Angela Merkel's conservatives in regional elections in Germany helped stocks in Frankfurt, Madrid and London in early trade. Germany's strengthening economy was thought to have been a factor. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "There is absolutely nothing to worry about in Germany. There is no danger of extreme parties taking over power. There are even theories that on a national level, we could see a very business friendly coalition. The economy in Europe is also stable and the ECB is only very, very slowly reversing its massive monetary stimulus." Italian motorway company Atlantia was among the top gainers in Europe, up 3 percent, after it launched a 16 billion euro bid for Spanish rival Abertis. But overall gains in Europe in early trade weren't large or widespread. And Paris shares drifted lower, despite France having a new President. Globally concerns also remain about the pace of economic growth in the U.S. and China.