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|01 October, 2018

Monday outlook: Oil prices stay near four-year high

Oil prices stayed near four-year high on tightening supply. The U.S. and Canada reached a framework deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, giving a boost to investor sentiment. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Oil industry well pump under blue desert sky, nodding donkey rig pumping crude oil up from the ground of an oil field in the desert.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Oil industry well pump under blue desert sky, nodding donkey rig pumping crude oil up from the ground of an oil field in the desert.

Getty Images/Mlenny
  • Oil prices add gains on tightening supply
  • U.S. and Canada reach a deal to update NAFTA
  • Saudi Arabia’s market surges on higher oil prices
  • Canadian dollar and Mexican Peso rise
  • Gold prices retreat

Oil prices

Oil prices stayed near four-year high on Monday as market participants took into considerations the United States sanctions on Iran that will start from November 4.

Brent crude oil futures were trading at $83.24 per barrel at 0228 GMT, up 51 cents, or 0.3 percent, their highest level since November 2014.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 37 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $73.62 a barrel. WTI prices were supported by a stagnant rig count, which points to a slowdown in U.S. crude production.

ANZ bank said on Monday that “the market is eyeing oil prices at $100 per barrel”, according to a Reuters report.

“Until sizable supply is offered up by OPEC, ultimately traders will continue to push the envelope even more,” Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, told Reuters.

Global markets

The United States and Canada reached a framework deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, giving a boost to investor sentiment.

Japan's Nikkei rose as much as 0.8 percent and hit 27-year highs on Monday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was softer, falling 0.15 percent. Regional volumes are likely to be light, due to holidays in China including Hong Kong.

Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, told Reuters that NAFTA is the second largest trade issue Washington has, after China.

“Investors will likely view the latest agreement positively, a sign that trade disputes are easing outside China-U.S. talks,” he said.

At Friday’s close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.38 points, or 0.07 percent, to 26,458.31, the S&P 500 lost 0.02 point, or -0.00 percent, to 2,913.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.39 points, or 0.05 percent, to 8,046.35.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s stock market added 1.3 percent on Sunday as high level of oil prices have been pushing shares in the Kingdom higher.

The Saudi index closed at 7,999.5 points, at more than a month high.

Saudi Basic Industries closed 1.5 percent higher and refiner Petro Rabigh was last up 2.6 percent. Banks also gained with Al Rajhi Bank up nearly 2 percent and Samba Financial Group rising 1.1 percent.

Dubai’s index added 0.3 percent as Arabtec gained 2.6 percent and Damac also climbed 2.5 percent. Neighbouring Abu Dhabi's index was down 0.3 percent.

Egyptian stocks closed flat, but private equity firm Qalaa Holdings gained 4 percent after it reported a net profit for the second-quarter period, reversing a net loss in the previous financial year.

Qatar’s index gained 0.3 percent, Kuwait’s index ended the day flat, Bahrain’s index dropped 0.8 percent and Oman’s index rose 0.4 percent.

Currencies

The Canadian dollar and the Mexican Peso rose on news that the U.S. and Canada reached a framework deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Canadian dollar rose more than 0.5 percent to a four-month high of $1.2814 to the U.S. dollar.

The Mexican peso also gained more than 0.6 percent to 18.54 per dollar, its highest since early August.

Precious metals

Gold prices dropped on Monday.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,189.22 at 0111 GMT. The metal fell 0.8 percent in September, marking its sixth straight monthly decline and longest monthly losing streak since January 1997.

On Friday, gold touched its lowest since August 17 at $1,180.34 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,193.0 an ounce.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@thomsonreuters.com)


 

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