* Fed, G20, Dutch elections and potential Article 50 trigger
* Dollar recovers from 3-day slide as probable Fed hike
* Crude oil poised for 5 straight days of losses
* Mining stocks rally, help underpin European benchmarks
* M&A continues, Intel says to buy Mobileye
By Vikram Subhedar
LONDON, March 13 Oil prices, down for a fifth
straight day on Monday, were an outlier in a relatively calm
start to an event-packed week for global markets as investors
braced for a potential interest rate hike in the United States,
a Dutch election and the first G20 finance ministers' meeting of
the Trump era.
Strong U.S. employment data and talk that European Central
Bank policymakers had begun thinking about how to raise interest
rates as inflation returns saw market participants, particularly
in bond and currency markets, start to price in higher borrowing
Wall Street's top banks are unanimous on the view the
Federal Reserve will increase interest rates at its policy
meeting next week following a stronger-than-forecast February
U.S. payrolls report, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
U.S. stock futures were little changed.
The market's attention is now firmly on the scale of
tightening further out.
A fifth straight session of losses for oil prices, now down
more than 8 percent in the past week on worries over a supply
glut, remained in focus.
In Europe, the euro eased slightly while euro zone
government bond yields, jolted last week by reports that some
ECB policymakers had discussed the possibility of lifting
interest rates, pulled back from multi-week highs.
"Improved growth and inflation prospects are allowing
developed market central banks to sketch their exits from
extreme accommodation at varying speeds," David Folkerts-Landau,
group chief economist at Deutsche Bank wrote in a note to
The dollar was flat against a basket of major currencies
though its recent weakness spurred a rally on sterling where net
speculative bets against the currency hit 16-week highs last
The pound added to the day's gains after Scottish National
Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would seek permission to
hold a fresh Scottish independence referendum which would be
held at earliest in late 2018.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is poised to launch the
two-year process of taking the country out of the EU, something
which was opposed by most Scots in last year's Brexit vote.
"The push and pull between solid growth momentum and
political risks look set to continue in the near-term,"
Deutsche's Folkerts-Landau said.
The world's most powerful finance ministers and central
bankers convene in the German spa town of Baden-Baden on March
17-18, their first meeting since Donald Trump's U.S. election
victory in November where his protectionist stance on
international trade is likely to be a key issue.
Gains in mining stocks and continued corporate deal-making
activity helped European shares offset weakness in oil-related
shares, with the benchmark STOXX 600 up 0.2 percent in
The FTSE 100 was up slightly where along with mining
blue chips a 1 percent gain for shares of HSBC
supported the index.
HSBC shares rose after Europe's biggest bank tapped an
outsider, Mark Tucker, for its top job.
The brisk start to the year for corporate deal-making
continued as chips giant Intel said it would acquire
driverless technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion
In bond markets, euro zone government bond yields pulled
back from multi-week highs, as nervous investors turned their
focus to this week's Dutch parliamentary elections -- the next
key gauge of populism in Europe.
Although the risk of a eurosceptic party coming to power in
the Netherlands is small, a strong election performance could
renew concerns about the popularity of the far-right in French
presidential elections in April and May, said Erin Browne, head
of macro investments at UBS O'Connor, a hedge fund manager
within UBS Asset Management.
"If you see a eurosceptic party gains a significantly larger
share of the vote than current polls suggest that could spill
over into concern about the French elections and the National
Front doing better in the second round of voting than is
currently being predicted," she said.
"That's the risk for markets with a view to the Dutch
In commodities, oil prices remained on the
backfoot as more rigs are deployed to look for oil in the United
States and as crude inventories in the United States, the
world's biggest oil consumer, have surged to a record.
Gold climbed slightly as uncertainty created by elections in
Europe fueled investor interest, but the prospect of imminent
rate rises later this week kept prices near the five-week lows
touched last week.
(Additional reporting by Dhara Ranasighe, Editing by Toby
Chopra and Pritha Sarkar)