|19 August, 2019

Monday Outlook: Oil rises, gold prices dip, dollar gets stronger

US President Donald Trump dismisses concerns that economic growth may be faltering

An oil pump is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

An oil pump is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
  • Oil rises after Saudi oilfield attack, but recession worries cap gains
  • Chinese stocks lead Asian gains
  • Gold prices fall on stronger dollar
  • Dollar hovers near a two-week high

Oil prices

Crude oil prices rose on Monday after a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility by Yemeni separatists and as traders looked for any signs that Sino-US trade tensions could ease.

Brent crude was up 64 cents, or about 1.1 percent, at $59.28 a barrel at 0255 GMT.

US crude was up 55 cents, or 1 percent, at $55.42 a barrel.

But price gains were capped by an unusually downbeat OPEC report that stoked concerns about growth in oil demand. In a monthly report, OPEC cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2019 by 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.10 million bpd and indicated the market will be in slight surplus in 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump and top White House officials dismissed concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying on Sunday they saw little risk of recession and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the U.S., Reuters reported.

Middle East stocks

The Saudi index eased by 0.3 percent, with Saudi British Bank dropping about 1.3 percent and Samba Financial Group falling 1.3 percent.

The Qatari index snapped a three-day losing streak as Industries Qatar's (IQ) rebounded after declines on low first-half results.

While the Dubai market was flat to 2,797 points, The Abu Dhabi market slipped 0.3 percent, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) dipping 0.8 percent. Kuwaiti stocks fell 1.7 percent, hurt by a 2.2 percent drop in Kuwait Finance House. Egypt's Index rose 0.7 percent to 14,400  points.

Currencies

On Monday morning, safe haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc were under pressure as stimulus hopes grew easing immediate concerns about a slowing global economy.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was marginally higher in Asia at 98.192, close to a two-week high of 98.339 on Friday.

Disappointing economic signals from China and Europe on Thursday, coupled with an inverted US bond yield curve, triggered fears that the global economy was speeding toward recession.

Global stocks

Chinese stocks lead regional gains on Monday over reforms announced by central bank to change the way a key interest rate benchmark is set. According to analysts this would reduce borrowing costs for companies and support a slowing economy caught in the grip of a damaging trade war with the US.

“The decline in loan rates bodes well for China’s credit demand and growth outlook in the second half of 2019 to offset the impact of the ongoing trade disputes,” Reuters quoted Zhaopeng Xing and Raymond Yeung, economists at ANZ as saying.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC rose 1.5 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 1 percent.

US and European stocks surged on Friday on expectations the European Central Bank will cut interest rates but the dollar pared gains against the euro after a report said the German government was prepared to take on new debt to lift the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 306.62 points, or 1.2 percent, to 25,886.01. The S&P 500 gained 41.08 points, or 1.44 percent, to 2,888.68 and the Nasdaq Composite added 129.38 points, or 1.67 percent, to 7,895.99.

Gold price

Gold prices dipped on Monday on a stronger US dollar and a recovery in equities markets, as hopes of stimulus from major central banks eased fears of a steep global economic downturn.

Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,506 per ounce at 0114 GMT.

US gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,517.60 an ounce.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)


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