|08 September, 2019

Sunday outlook: Brent crude prices jump above $61 a barrel

Global benchmark Brent crude settled at $61.54 a barrel, up 59 cents, or 1 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, higher at $56.52

Image used for illustrative purpose. Field operator Greg Buckley inspects oil well heads September 21, 2000 at the Federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility known as Big Hill near Beaumont, Texas.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Field operator Greg Buckley inspects oil well heads September 21, 2000 at the Federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility known as Big Hill near Beaumont, Texas.

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  • Oil prices rise on Fed Chair comments
  • Stocks across the globe add gains
  • Dubai’s index edges up 0.4 percent
  • Dollar, gold prices retreat

Oil prices

Oil prices surged on Friday after the United States’ Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, said that the central bank will act “as appropriate” to sustain an economic expansion in the U.S.

Global benchmark Brent crude settled at $61.54 a barrel, up 59 cents, or 1 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, higher at $56.52.

Crude prices “are working back up right now,” Bill Baruch, president at Blue Line Futures LLC in Chicago told Reuters. Comments by Powell that indicate further interest rate reductions are one factor that would help keep “a bid in the market ahead of the weekend.”

According to a Reuters report, oil prices had fallen earlier in the session as U.S. government data showed the nation’s job growth slowed in August for the seventh month in a row, with nonfarm payrolls expanding by 130,000, about 28,000 less than economists polled by Reuters had forecast.

Global markets

Stocks across the globe rose on Friday, as comments from the Fed Chair and a Chinese economic stimulus package boosted sentiment.

China’s central bank said that in order to bolster the nation’s weakening economy it would lower the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.32 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.34 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.63 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.72 percent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.54 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 120.6 points, or 0.45 percent, to 26,848.75, the S&P 500 gained 7.6 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,983.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.53 points, or 0.13 percent, to 8,127.36.

“For the next few weeks, market direction is going to be determined by macroeconomic and geopolitical headlines,” Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta told Reuters. “Until we get into October and there’s solid company data again, the market’s going to be gyrating based on headlines.”

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index edged 0.1 percent lower as Saudi Basic Industries fell 0.9 percent and Saudi Telecom Company dropped 1 percent.

Dubai’s index rose 0.4 percent with Emirates NBD increasing 1.5 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank adding 0.6 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index lost 0.2 percent as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ended 1.5 percent lower.

Qatar's index closed 0.4 percent lower, with Qatar National Bank falling 1.2 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank down 1 percent. 

Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 gained 0.6 percent, Oman’s index fell 0.3 percent while Kuwait’s premier market index was mainly flat and Bahrain’s index rose 0.6 percent.

Currencies

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.15 percent on Friday.

Precious metals

Gold prices also dropped on Friday.

Spot gold was down 0.9 percent at $1,505.41 per ounce as of 1152 GMT.

U.S. gold futures slid 0.8 percent to $1,513.80.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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