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|18 February, 2019

Monday outlook: Oil prices, Asian shares rise

Lower supplies boosted again on Monday oil prices. MSCI's broadest index MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1 percent. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view of the Hellenic Petroleum refineries is seen at Aspropyrgos town

Image used for illustrative purpose. A general view of the Hellenic Petroleum refineries is seen at Aspropyrgos town

REUTERS/John Kolesidis
  • Oil prices hit highest since November 2018
  • Asian shares rise on hopes over a trade deal between the U.S. and China
  • Egypt’s EGX30 outperforms the region on Sunday
  • Dollar weakens, gold prices firm

Oil prices

Oil prices rose sharply on Monday to their highest levels since November 2018 on tightening supplies.

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.

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Sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuelan exports to the U.S. have also been supporting prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures pushed through $56 per barrel for the first time this year, hitting $56.13 a barrel before edging back to $56.02 a barrel by 0112 GMT, still up 0.8 percent from their last settlement.

International Brent crude futures hit a high of $66.78 per barrel before easing to $66.65 per barrel, up 0.6 percent from their last close.

Global markets

Asian shares also rose on Monday, boosted by hopes over a trade deal between the U.S. and China.

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

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1 percent, recovering from a sharp fall last Friday.

On Friday on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 443.86 points, or 1.74 percent, to 25,883.25, the S&P 500 gained 29.87 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,775.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 45.46 points, or 0.61 percent, to 7,472.41.

The two sides will resume negotiations this week, with U.S. President Donald Trump saying he may extend a March 1 deadline for a deal, according to a Reuters report.

“That does not rule out a setback or two between now and the start of March,” said analysts at CBA in a note, according to a Reuters report.

“Even so, we still think that both sides have good reasons to want to get to an agreement. And, so motivated, it makes an agreement more likely than not.”

Middle East markets

Dubai’s index added 0.6 percent on Sunday with Emaar Properties’ stock adding 2 percent and Damac Properties closing up 0.8 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.7 percent as Aldar Properties gained 3.6 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank rising 0.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.4 percent with Alinma Bank and Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation losing 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Egypt’s blue-chip index EGX30 added 1.4 percent as Orascom Investment Holding, added 3.2 percent.

Qatar’s index added 0.7 percent, Kuwait’s premier market index edged 0.1 percent higher while Oman’s index dropped 0.8 percent and Bahrain’s index added 0.6 percent.

Currencies

The dollar edged lower on Monday, as investors turned to equities.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was marginally lower at 96.85.

Precious metals

Gold prices firmed on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold inched 0.1 percent higher to $1,321.69 per ounce at 0037 GMT. The metal hit a near 9-month high of $1,326.3 an ounce on Jan. 31

U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,324.9 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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