| 13 March, 2018

Oil prices drop on concerns over rising U.S. output

Rise seen in oil supply in the United States

Oil prices fell early on Tuesday after dropping by around 1 percent in the previous session as a rise in supply in the United States, largely on the back of onshore shale oil production, weighed on prices.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due to publish its latest weekly U.S. production data on Wednesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.20 a barrel at 0122 GMT, down 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close.

Brent crude futures were at $64.80 per barrel, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent.

In stocks, global markets were mostly lower on Tuesday, tracking a retreat on Wall Street. Asian markets were trading in narrow ranges.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed after adding 1.5 percent on Monday.

In the Middle East, stock markets were mixed on Monday.

Saudi Arabia’s index added 1.1 percent as petrochemical shares supported the index. National Petrochemical, which had jumped 10 percent on Sunday after reporting annual net profit more than doubled, rose by the same margin again.

Saudi Industrial Investment Group, which had gained 10 percent on Monday after reporting annual profit increased more than ten-fold, added 5.3 percent.

Qatar’s stock market was the best performer, after Qatar National Bank said it would raise its ceiling for foreign ownership.

Qatar’s index jumped 5.0 percent in its heaviest trade this year with QNB adding its 10 percent daily limit.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 percent as losing stocks outnumbered gainers by 25 to 6. Emirates NBD added 4.5 percent, it soared 13.6 percent on Sunday after saying it planned a big capital increase.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index was flat at 4,534 points.

Egypt's index rose 2.1 percent. El Sewedy Electric last traded 10 percent higher after saying it had signed a contract with Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co to provide power transmission lines worth 2.12 billion Egyptian pounds ($121 million).

Kuwait’s index fell 0.6 percent, Bahrain’s index lost 1.1 percent while Oman’s index dropped 0.6 percent.

In currencies, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was unchanged in early trading on Tuesday after dropping 0.2 percent late on Monday.

Gold prices edged up early on Tuesday on a weaker dollar, and as investors waited for U.S. consumer price data later in the day to gauge the outlook for inflation and Federal Reserve policy.

In other news, Egypt’s transport minister Hisham Arafat said on Monday that Egypt plans to award the tender for a high-speed railway between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean in the second half of 2018.

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© ZAWYA 2018