|03 February, 2019

Sunday outlook: Stocks, oil prices boosted by strong U.S. data

Global markets mostly rose on Friday, boosted by strong U.S. data. Stock markets in the UAE rose on Thursday, while Saudi Arabia's index edged lower. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals.

A commuter walks on Wall St. across from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2019.

A commuter walks on Wall St. across from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2019.

Reuters/Brendan McDermid
  • Global markets rose on Friday on strong U.S. data
  • Stock markets in the UAE rose on Thursday
  • Oil prices rose on Friday amidst tightening supply
  • Dollar remains unchanged, gold drops

Global markets

Stock markets across the globe mostly rose on Friday as strong data from the United States boosted investor sentiment.

U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, the Labor Department said.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose 0.02 percent and the pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.21 percent.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.22 points, or 0.26 percent, to 25,063.89. 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.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.3 percent as National Shipping Company dropped 2.5 percent after its fourth-quarter net profit more than halved, while Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries fell 1.2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

But Riyad Bank rose 2.1 percent after posting a 38.6 percent gain in its fourth-quarter net profit.

In Dubai, the index rose 1.1 percent, boosted by a 1.5 percent increase in the emirate's biggest lender Emirates NBD, and a 1.4 percent gain in Dubai Islamic Bank (DISB).

The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.8 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining 1.1 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) gained 3.7 percent.

Qatar's index was mainly flat with Vodafone Qatar rising 3.3 percent.

Egypt's blue-chip index EGX30 was up 0.2 percent as Ezz Steel added 4.8 percent.

Kuwait’s index dropped 0.2 percent, while Oman’s index dropped 1.2 percent and Bahrain’s index edged 0.1 percent lower.

Oil prices

Oil prices surged on Friday on strong U.S. data and tightening supply.

General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm reported that U.S. 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.

Brent crude oil futures rose $1.91 a barrel, or 3.14 percent, to settle at $62.75 a barrel. The international benchmark notched a weekly gain of about 1.9 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures ended the session at $55.26, up $1.47 a barrel or 2.73 percent and gained about 3 percent on the week.

“We are beginning to see the impact to crude supplies from the sanctions on Venezuela. It has driven up domestic crude prices, cutting into refiner margins,” Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, told Reuters.

“That, combined with Saudi cuts and Libyan production declines has changed market sentiment as we appear to be moving toward a better balanced supply situation.”


The dollar was mainly unchanged on Friday against a basket of its peers.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, traded mainly flat at 95.579.

Precious metals

Strong U.S. jobs data and a rise in global markets weighed on gold prices on Friday.

Spot gold dipped 0.2 percent to $1,317.61 per ounce at 19:32 GMT, having hit a nine-month peak of $1,326.30 on Thursday.

U.S. gold futures settled down 0.2 percent to $1,322.10.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)


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© ZAWYA 2019

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