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Stocks Drop as Energy Firms Slide With Ruble After OPEC Impasse

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BRITAIN-EU-STOCKS-BREXIT-POLITICS
  • Stocks Drop as Energy Firms Slide With Ruble After OPEC Impasse

Energy shares led stocks in Europe lower, the Russia ruble weakened and oil touched a one-month low after the world’s biggest crude producers failed to agree to supply cuts at a meeting in Vienna. U.S. equity-index futures and Mexico’s peso clawed back some of their losses from Friday triggered by the FBI’s reopening of an inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

A gauge of energy companies on the MSCI All Country World Index slipped for a second day after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ended two days of talks on Saturday without agreeing any individual quotas.

Russia’s ruble declined while the South African rand surged after prosecutors withdrew charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Perceived investment-grade credit risk was set for the longest run of increases since May.

The OPEC talks yielded little more than a promise that the world’s top oil producers would keep discussing ways to stabilize the market. Sovereign bonds were relatively muted Monday as investors awaited key central bank meetings from the U.K. and U.S. later in the week. Global equities lost ground in October and government bonds also slid amid speculation the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates this year.

“Oil companies are reacting to OPEC news,” said William Hobbs, head of investment strategy at Barclays Plc’s wealth-management unit in London. “We have a huge week of data, biggest in a long time. So people are positioning for what’s expected to be a pretty important week.”

Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.5 percent as of 7:19 a.m New York time, set for a sixth day of declines, the longest losing streak since February. The benchmark has fallen 1.1 percent in October, a month that has yielded gains in five of the past six years.

BP Plc and Tullow Oil Plc fell more than 1 percent, dragging a measure of energy companies to the worst performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600, as oil declined after European markets closed Friday.
Miners gained the most on the index as metals prices advanced. Centamin Plc led the charge after saying it sees gold output near the upper end of its 2016 forecast.

WPP Plc led media companies higher, rising 4.1 percent after the world’s largest advertising company posted an increase in quarterly sales. Sika AG jumped 14 percent after a Swiss court backed its bid to block a takeover by Cie de Saint-Gobain. Shares in its French rival dropped 0.8 percent.

S&P 500 Index slid 20 points in about 40 minutes on Friday amid news the Federal Bureau of Investigation was again looking into Clinton’s use of private e-mail while secretary of state, an issue that has dogged her presidential campaign.

Futures on the gauge advanced 0.1 percent, indicating equities will rebound from Friday’s retreat to a six-week low. Investors will look to data Monday on personal income and spending for indications of the health of the U.S. economy as the Federal Reserve prepares to meet.

Among stocks moving in premarket New York trading, Baker Hughes Inc. gained 9.1 percent after General Electric Co. agreed to combine their oil and gas businesses to bolster their operations amid the global slump in crude prices. General Electric added 0.3 percent. Level 3 Communications Inc. climbed 3.9 percent after agreeing to a $34 billion cash-and-stock takeover offer from CenturyLink Inc.

For more news on the latest probe into Clinton’s e-mails, click here.

Commodities

Crude oil fell 0.6 percent to $48.40 a barrel in New York, trading near the lowest since the end of September. Oil has fluctuated near $50 amid skepticism about whether OPEC can implement the first supply cuts in eight years at an official meeting in November.

“Talks over the weekend make it seem less likely there will be an agreement on production cuts,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “The market has probably made a fair bit of the adjustment, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see oil fall further into the $47 range.”
Gold was little changed at about $1,274.13 an ounce after rallying 0.6 percent on Friday.

Aluminum and zinc extended gains in Shanghai as investors bet that strong domestic demand, surging coal prices and logistical issues will underpin prices. Aluminum rose to its highest since September 2014, having jumped by about 10 percent last week, and zinc climbed to levels last seen in March 2011.

Currencies

The rand jumped 1.8 percent as South Africa’s Chief Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams announced that fraud charges against the finance minister have been dropped, two days before he was due to appear in court.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has climbed more than 2 percent this month, set for the biggest gain since May.

While the Fed is seen leaving policy unchanged at a review this week, futures prices indicate a 69 percent chance of an interest-rate hike at its December meeting, up from 59 percent at the end of September.

The ruble fell 0.2 percent, declining for a second day and set for its first monthly drop in three.

Mexico’s peso advanced 0.4 percent as Clinton’s allies escalated attacks on FBI Director James Comey to stem political damage from his disclosure last week the agency is reviewing files related to a probe of her e-mail practices.

South Korea’s won traded near a three-month low as President Park Geun-hye deals with an influence-peddling scandal that’s sparked calls by the ruling party for her to remove the prime minister. Prosecutors raided Park’s office over the weekend to investigate allegations her close friend Choi Soon-sil — a private citizen whom opposition lawmakers have linked to a religious cult — wielded influence on state affairs over an extended period.

China’s yuan strengthened 0.2 percent, paring its biggest monthly loss since May. It advanced from near a six-year low following Friday’s retreat in the dollar and as China’s clampdown on UnionPay payments for insurance products in Hong Kong provided support. The transactions have been used as a means of skirting capital controls to take funds out of the mainland.

Bonds

The yield on Treasuries due in a decade was little changed at 1.84 percent, after touching a five-month high of 1.88 percent on Friday. Sovereign debt in the world’s biggest economy has lost 1.2 percent on average this month, the worst performance since February 2015, a Bloomberg index shows.

Germany’s 10-year bond yield was at 0.16 percent, up 28 basis points this month, which would be the biggest increase since May 2013.

Spanish 10-year bond yields were little changed at 1.23 percent, after Mariano Rajoy claimed a second term as prime minister by winning a confidence vote on Saturday night, ending a 10-month political impasse.

The cost of insuring investment-grade corporate bonds against default climbed for a fifth day. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on highly rated companies rose one basis point to 73 basis points, a two-week high. A gauge of swaps on junk-rated corporate issuers rose for a fifth day, the longest run since June. It added three basis points to 332 basis points.

China’s one-year interest-rate swaps rose five basis points to an 18-month high of 2.76 percent in Shanghai. The increase reflects speculation policy makers will seek to keep money rates high as they tackle asset bubbles and try to stem declines in the yuan.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Gold

Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin

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Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges

Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.

The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.

The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.

We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.

Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.

Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.

In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.

 

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting

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oil

Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension

Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.

“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.

Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.

“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.

Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.

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Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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