|08 January, 2019

Tuesday outlook: Trade talks boost global markets, oil prices

Asian shares rose on Monday over hopes of an easing in trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Oil prices edged higher as trade talks and supply cuts boosted prices. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals

Image used for illustrative purpose. Petroleum Production platform in offshore in oil industry.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Petroleum Production platform in offshore in oil industry.

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  • Asian shares rise on trade talks
  • Oil prices edge higher on supply cuts and trade talks
  • Middle East markets rose again on Monday
  • Dollar weakens on Fed comments, gold steadies

Global markets

Asian shares added gains in early trading on Tuesday, as trade negotiations under way in Beijing between delegates from the United States and China boosted investor sentiment, as market participants hope for an easing in tensions between the two biggest economies in the world.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.9 percent while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up just 0.1 percent.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent on Monday following a 3.4 percent surge on Friday.

“Market pessimism has been rolled back, partly helped by hopes as talks between China and the U.S. are underway. But many investors are still trying to play it safe and it is yet to be seen whether the recovery continues, or ends up as a short-term relief rally,” Masanari Takada, cross-assets strategist at Nomura Securities, told Reuters.

Oil prices

Oil prices edged up on Tuesday, as trade talks between the U.S. and China as well as supply cuts dominated by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC Russia boosted prices.

OPEC oil supply fell in December by 460,000 barrels per day (bpd), to 32.68 million bpd, a Reuters survey found last week, led by cuts from top exporter Saudi Arabia.

International Brent crude futures were at $57.43 per barrel at 0218 GMT (9.18 p.m. EST), up 10 cents, or 0.1 percent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $48.62 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent.

“Crude oil prices have benefited from OPEC production cuts and steadying equities markets,” Mithun Fernando, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Stock markets in the Middle East rose again on Monday, following a surge in oil prices and global markets.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 1.5 percent as Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom's second-largest lender by assets, rose 2.2 percent to trade at nearly 11-year high, while ank Aljazira added 2.7 percent after proposing a dividend of 0.5 riyal per share for year 2018, up from 0.3 riyal per share a year earlier.

Dubai’s index edged up 0.1 percent with Emirates NBD, gaining 2.1 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s index rose 0.6 percent on the back of a 1 percent surge in First Abu Dhabi Bank shares.

Qatar's index gained 1.4 percent as Qatar Commercial Bank jumped 4.1 percent while market heavyweight Industries Qatar added 2.9 percent.

Egypt’s stock market was closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Kuwait’s index rose 0.5 percent, while Bahrain’s index was mainly flat and Oman’s index gained 0.2 percent.

Currencies

The dollar retreated on Tuesday after analysts bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve would put its policy tightening on pause in 2019, following comments by Jerome Powel, the Fed Chair.

On Friday, Powell told the American Economic Association that the Fed is not on a preset path of interest rate hikes and that it will be sensitive to the downside risks the markets are pricing in.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, hit an intra-day low of 95.68 before edging higher to 95.80. The index has lost around 2 percent since mid-December

Precious metals

Gold prices steadied early on Tuesday on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,287.70 by 0148 GMT. It hit a more-than 6-month peak at $1,298.42 on Friday.

U.S. gold futures eased slightly at $1,288 per ounce. 

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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