Stock markets in Europe edged up slightly in light trading on Monday as investors eyed a new round of US inflation data this week that could determine the prospect for interest rates in the world's largest economy.

Asian markets rallied, tracking the strong gains on Wall Street last Friday after another forecast-busting US jobs report and a rebound in regional banking stocks that had sparked fears of wider financial industry fragility.

The strong labour market fuelled hopes the Federal Reserve would succeed in its quest to curb inflation while avoiding a "hard landing" or even recession, whose effects would be felt worldwide.

"Investors continue to be relieved by the American employment numbers, which prove the labour market's resistance despite tighter monetary policy," said Pierre Veyret, an analyst at ActivTrades. "Nonetheless, the volatility is probably not over, because the main worries, linked to further tightening by the ECB, and the standoff over the US debt ceiling and the bank sector crisis, remain," he said.

Investors continue to be relieved by the American employment numbers, which prove the labour market's resistance despite tighter monetary policy- Pierre Veyret, an analyst at ActivTrades

Both the Fed and the European Central Bank raised benchmark rates by 25 basis points last week, and both US consumer and producer inflation data are due starting on Wednesday.

For analysts at ING, the data "should all show that the disinflation trend is now firmly in place".

But Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, cautioned that "any upside surprise in inflation figures would bring the Fed hawks back to the market", potentially weighing on stocks.

Investors also remain wary of any further upheaval in the US financial system following last week's turmoil that saw the sale of the embattled First Republic Bank to JPMorgan Chase.

That followed the collapse in March of three other banks and the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS, which sparked panic on trading floors.

Jobs data jump

Chicago Fed chief Austan Goolsbee warned on Friday that it was "way too premature" to say if there would be another rate increase next month but warned the banking turmoil would likely drag on the economy.

There are also growing worries about a possible catastrophic US debt default, as right-wing Republicans square off against President Joe Biden over spending plans. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning the country could run out of cash to pay its bills as soon as the start of June unless Congress raises the debt limit. While many commentators believe lawmakers will come to a deal to lift the borrowing ceiling, as they have every time in the past, there remain fears that the unthinkable could happen and spark an economic crisis.

"Historically, markets have not started worrying about a debt limit default until two-four weeks before the anticipated x-date (believed to be the end of July)," said SPI Asset Management's Stephen Innes. "But anxiety is building early this time and shifted into high gear last week after Secretary Yellen warned that a default could occur as soon as June 1."

The Paris and Frankfurt markets were slightly higher, while London was closed for a bank holiday marking the weekend's coronation of Charles III.

Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Bangkok led gains in Asia by putting on more than one percent each, while Sydney, Seoul, Taipei, Wellington and Jakarta were also in the green.

But Tokyo was dragged down by a retreat in banks as investors returned from an extended break to play catch-up with last week's sell-off.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.