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|04 February, 2019

Monday outlook: Oil prices step back following sharp gains in the previous session

Oil prices dropped early on Monday on profit-taking, following gains on Friday as investors priced in tightening supplies. Asian shares stay near four-month highs, tracking a surge in global markets on Friday. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals

Image used for illustrative purpose. BP's Huge oil refinery complex continues it's 24 hour production of petroleum and gas

Image used for illustrative purpose. BP's Huge oil refinery complex continues it's 24 hour production of petroleum and gas

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  • Oil prices edge lower as investors book profits
  • Asian shares hover near four-month highs
  • Abu Dhabi’s index rose lifted by banking shares
  • Dollar steadies, gold prices drop

Oil prices

Oil prices edged lower early on Monday on profit-taking, following sharp gains on Friday.

Prices surged on Friday as General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm reported that United States’ energy firms cut the number of operating oil rigs for a fourth week in the past five, bringing the count to the lowest in eight months.

Sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuelan exports to the U.S. as well as a list of oil production cuts issued by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been supporting prices this year.

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International Brent crude oil futures on Monday were down 20 cents, or 0.32 percent at 0339 GMT to $62.54 a barrel, as investors booked profit after closing up 3.14 percent in the previous session to their highest close since November 21.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $55.13 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.24 percent, from their last settlement. WTI settled 2.73 percent higher in the last session at its highest close since November 19.

“While Venezuela’s output reportedly rose last month, fresh U.S. sanctions on the country could see 0.5 to 1 percent of global supply curtailed,” Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note on Monday, according to a Reuters report.

Global markets

Asian shares were trading near four-month highs on Monday, following a jump in global markets on Friday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat. It had scaled a four-month peak on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.22 points, or 0.26 percent, to 25,063.89 on Friday. The S&P 500 gained 2.43 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,706.53 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 17.87 points, or 0.25 percent, to 7,263.87.

“Key points for the markets this week will be how the remaining U.S. corporate earnings releases turn out, and whether they are in line with recent upbeat data,” Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.

“While corporate earnings and fundamentals remain key, political developments, notably the U.S.-China trade situation, remain potential risk factors,” he said.

Middle East markets

Dubai’s stock market dropped 1.1 percent on Sunday as Emaar Properties, retreated 3.3 percent, Emaar Malls dropped 4.5 percent, and Damac properties fell 2.3 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.6 percent lifted by financials, such as heavyweight First Abu Dhabi Bank, which rose 1.8 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank also rose 1.7 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.4 percent as Saudi British Bank (SABB) fell 1.8 percent, Alawwal Bank fell 1.6 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) dropped 2.8 percent.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.3 percent with Qatar Gas Transport dropping 1.7 percent and Qatar Insurance Company down 1.2 percent.

Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX 30 Index gained 0.8 percent boosted by telecommunications and industrials, as Orascom Investment Holding surged 8.4 percent and Telecom Egypt Co was up 6.5 percent.

Kuwait’s premier market index dropped 0.5 percent, Oman’s index dropped 0.5 percent and Bahrain’s index added 0.3 percent.

Currencies

The dollar steadied against its peers on Monday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, traded mainly flat at 95.58.

Precious metals

Gold prices slipped as the dollar steadied.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent to $1,314.47 per ounce as of 0123 GMT.

U.S. gold futures dipped 0.2 percent at $1,320.1 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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