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Crude oil prices were boosted overnight with Iraq’s oil minister reaffirming his intention to cooperate with all OPEC members on the agreement. WTI futures rose from $46.00/bbl levels to trade just below $47.00/bbl into Tuesday morning. The market appears to buy-in on this reaffirmation despite the fact that a production freeze is more likely than a cut at present.
While there are economic consequences, the upcoming OPEC meeting decision can largely be classified as a political event and can go either ways. The optimistic outcome is also highly likely to be undermined by this element as Iran’s oil minister noted on Monday that “politics may make OPEC decision harder”. Moreover, Monday’s meeting also yielded little progress contrary to the market’s expectations, heaping more event risks ahead of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, weak leads were seen overnight as the strong rally fizzled off in light of the eventful week. The S&P 500 index and DJIA slumped 0.53% and 0.28% respectively on Monday. The prime gainers earlier, financials and energy, were seen clocking more than 1.0%, the latter affected by the uncertainty that the OPEC meeting will bring.
The strong leads from Wall Street that had trickled into Asia earlier looks to be dry into the start of this week. Asian markets are expected to remain subdued after yesterday’s pick-up. This is especially so for the Nikkei, an early mover, down 0.3% when last checked (01:30GMT). The weakness in the index remains a result of the reversal earlier in JPY.
The fluctuation in the markets at the start of the week is no surprise and could remain the case into the end of the week when the highly awaited November US NFP data will be revealed. Not to forget, the Italian referendum will dominate headlines this weekend. The day ahead will be focused on US Q3 GDP (2nd revision) and November consumer confidence while it will be another quiet day for Asia.
Separately, Japan’s October unemployment rate came in this morning in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month at 3.0% (sa). Overall household spending had exceeded expectations and rose to the highest level since April, albeit remaining in negative territory. Notably, Japan’s October retail trade had also surprised on the upside at -0.1% YoY, the highest figure printed since February. This marks an improvement to the spending weakness issue that plagues the country.
Yesterday: S&P 500 -0.53%; DJIA -0.28%; DAX -1.09%; FTSE -0.60%