Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Oil languishes after OPEC fails to deepen supply cuts, Asia stocks retreat

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Preston Stone | 30 May, 2017, 03:55

Norfolk Southern (NSC) and United Continental (UAL) posted notable gains. British stock markets bucked the downward trend and hit record highs.

OPEC's cuts have helped to push oil back above $50 a barrel this year, giving a fiscal boost to producers, many of which rely heavily on energy revenues.

Gold prices held steady after dipping slightly earlier in the session on Friday as Asian stocks eased following an extension of output curbs by OPEC and other producing nations that left investors hoping for bigger cuts disappointed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was almost unchanged at 25,639.27 and the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China climbed ended less than 0.1 percent higher at 3,110.06.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.83 yen from 111.50 yen. The euro rose to $1.1219 from $1.1209.

Instead, global oil markets shrugged off the expected news and tumbled.

The aussie extended losses against the greenback to reach a low of $0.7421 on the back of lower Dalian iron ore prices, a key export for Australia. A further 8 U.S. oil rigs were added last week, bringing the total count up to 720, the most since April 2015, and it is very likely this trend will continue at current oil prices. Overall Japan's Nikkei closed 0.6 percent lower. Dow futures gained 0.3 percent to 21,049.00 and broader S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent to 2,407.10. USA gold futures gained 0.1% to $1,257.2%.

Australian shares closed lower for the first time in three days in a broad-based sell off.

Oil stocks declined after crude oil prices fell overnight.

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Prices edged higher by 0.35% to $48.88 in early trading on Friday.

The extension was teased out more than a week ago when it was proposed first by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, the largest contributor to the production cut that's not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Equatorial Guinea's share of production cuts over the last six months is 12,000 barrels per day.

The first opinion poll since a suicide bombing killed 22 people indicated Britain's opposition Labour Party had cut the Conservative Party's lead to five points with less than a fortnight to go to the parliamentary election.

The loonie with high correlation to crude prices and a dependancy on exports to the USA will be caught between the energy production fight between the U.S. and OPEC.

JAPAN PRICES: Inflation ticked up to a two-year high last month on rising energy costs, according to the latest official data.

Economists had been expecting a more modest upward revision to the pace of GDP growth to approximately 0.9 percent.

Commerzbank cited data from the US Department of Energy saying US production was roughly 540,000 barrels per day higher in mid-May than at the start of the year.

Excluding a drop in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders still fell by 0.4 percent in April after climbing by 0.8 percent in March.

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