|14 February, 2019

Thursday outlook: Oil prices rise on tightening supplies, trade deal hopes

Asian shares retreated on Thursday despite an overnight drop on Wall Street. Bahraini and Qatari indices dropped on Wednesday. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) wells are pictured in an oil field on the outskirts of the western city of Ahmedabad, India, March 16, 2016.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Oil and Natural Gas Corp's (ONGC) wells are pictured in an oil field on the outskirts of the western city of Ahmedabad, India, March 16, 2016.

  • Oil prices rise on lower supplies, trade deal optimism
  • Asian shares drop despite a rise on Wall Street overnight
  • Qatar and Bahrain’s indices dropped on Wednesday
  • Dollar, gold prices rise

Oil prices

Oil prices rose in early trading on Thursday on tightening supplies and hopes over a trade deal between the United States and China.

Optimism that a trade deal could be reached between the U.S. and China received a boost when U.S. President Donald Trump said talks were going “very well”.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) issued a list of oil production cuts by its members and other major producers for six months starting January 1, to boost confidence in its oil supply reduction pact.


OPEC said on Tuesday that it had reduced its output by almost 800,000 bpd in January to 30.81 million bpd.

Oil prices have also been boosted by lower supply from Venezuela, as the U.S. introduced petroleum export sanctions against state-owned Venezuelan energy firm PDVSA.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.15 per barrel at 0204 GMT, up 25 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last settlement.

International Brent crude oil futures were up 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $63.90 a barrel.

Global markets

Asian shares dropped early on Thursday despite a rise on Wall Street overnight. Global markets have been boosted in the previous session by hopes over a trade deal.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3 percent, though that was off a peak last seen in early October.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow ended Wednesday up 0.36 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq 0.26 percent.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index edged 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday, as Banque Saudi Fransi rose 3 percent and petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.5 percent.

In Dubai, the index was up 0.3 percent with its biggest lender Emirates NBD gaining 1 percent, while Developers Deyaar Development and Damac Properties rose 2.9 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.

Abu Dhabi’s index was mainly flat, as Aldar Properties gained 3.5 percent, while Dana Gas added 3.1 percent.

The Qatari stock market dropped 1.2 percent on Wednesday as Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Islamic Bank dropped by 2.8 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 was mainly flat, Kuwait’s premier market index dropped 0.7 percent while Bahrain’s index dropped 1.1 percent and Oman’s index edged 0.2 percent lower.


The dollar rose early on Thursday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was marginally higher at 97.20, having gained 0.5 percent in the previous session.

Precious metals

Gold prices also rose on Thursday.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,308.20 per ounce, as of 0105 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,311.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)


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