|10 December, 2018

Monday outlook: Oil prices add to Friday gains, as OPEC agrees to cut output

Oil prices rose again on Monday, as OPEC’s decision to curb output supported the market. Global markets fell on trade tensions between the U.S. and China. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The BP West Coast Products LLC Carson oil refinery on August 7, 2006 in Carson, California.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The BP West Coast Products LLC Carson oil refinery on August 7, 2006 in Carson, California.

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  • Oil prices extend gains following the OPEC decision
  • Global markets drop on trade tensions between the U.S. and China
  • Middle East markets fell on Sunday, tracking a retreat in global markets
  • Dollar drops, gold steadies

Oil prices

Oil prices rose again on Monday, building on Friday gains following OPEC’s decision to curb output.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut production by a 1.2 million barrels per day starting in 2019.

After a two-day meeting in Vienna, held at the end of last week, the producer group agreed to curb output by 800,000 barrels per day from January, while non-OPEC allies will contribute an additional 400,000 barrel per day of cuts.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.21 per barrel at 0218 GMT, up 54 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.63 per barrel, up 2 cents.

“Our key conclusion is that oil prices will be well supported around the $70 per barrel level for 2019,” analysts at Bernstein Energy said on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

Global markets

Asian shares dropped in early trading on Monday, tracking a retreat on Wall Street overnight as trade tensions between the United States and China kept investors on edge.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 1.4 percent to a near three-week low.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell more than 2 percent on Friday in a broad sell-off, posting their largest weekly percentage drops since March.

“The biggest concerns for equity markets currently is the U.S.-China trade conflict and the Huawei incident,” Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo, told Reuters.

“The trade theme will preoccupy the markets through the 90-day truce period between the United States and China, waiting for any signs of concession between the parties.”

Middle East markets

Most markets in the region dropped on Sunday, tracking a retreat on global markets at the end of last week.

Dubai’s index dropped 1.15 percent, dragged lower by a 10 percent drop in Shuaa Capital. The market has lost 24.3 percent so far in 2018, as a drop in real estate shares weighed on the index.

Emaar Properties fell 1.9 percent, while Emirates NBD dropped 1.1 percent.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index retreated 0.8 percent, as Union Insurance Company fell 9.66 percent and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) dropped 7.92 percent.

The main index in Saudi Arabia finished 0.1 percent lower, with Al Rajhi Bank closing 0.2 percent down.

The Egyptian-blue chip index lost 2 percent, with 26 of its 30 stocks falling, as Commercial International Bank (COMI), slipped 0.6 percent.

Qatar’s index was mainly flat, Kuwait’s index edged up 0.1 percent, while Bahrain’s index was down 0.2 percent and Oman’s index was mainly flat.

Currencies

The dollar fell early on Monday on soft U.S. payrolls data.

U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 155,000 jobs last month, below economists’ median forecast of 200,000 jobs.

The dollar was down 0.4 percent at 112.30 yen and the euro added 0.5 percent to $1.1435.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, dipped 0.1 percent to 96.397 .DXY.

Precious metals

Gold prices traded near five-month highs on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold was steady at $1,247.80 per ounce, as of 0103 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 11 at $1,250.55 earlier in the session.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,254.6 per ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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