United States oil inches down amid concerns of economic slowdown

Daniel Fowler
January 14, 2019

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent to 6,982.74. The dispute triggered a shutdown of about one-quarter of the federal government, and Trump has said he will not sign any bill to reopen the government that does not include funding for the wall.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were last down almost 0.35 percent. USA crude CLc1 was at $51.65 per barrel, down $0.71 or 1.4%. The Shanghai Composite surged 0.7 percent to 2,553.83. Shares rose Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia but fell in the Philippines.

A clutch of Fed officials said on Wednesday they will wait to deliver more interest rate hikes so the central bank can further assess growing risks to an otherwise solid USA economic outlook. He echoed the tone of Fed officials who were present at a meeting last month.

Also on Wednesday, minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting showed policy makers were attentive to recent financial-market volatility and risks to the outlook. A market-sensitive Fed is reassuring to investors who fear its tightening policies would send the USA economy into recession.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "While there was agreement on less thorny issues such as agriculture and energy, US demands for verification and enforceable targets on intellectual property rights, transfer of technologies and non-tariff barriers may not be that easily addressed", DBS Group Research strategists Eugene Leow and Neel Gopalakrishnan said in a commentary.

CHINESE INFLATION: On Thursday, China released consumer and producer inflation figures that missed the mark. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.9 percent to 1,438.81.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR were last down 3/32 in price to yield 2.7261 percent after earlier rising to 2.747 percent, the highest since December 28. Slowing inflation raises doubts about the health of the world's second largest economy.

Kuchar stays in control heading for final day in Hawaii
Kuchar was flawless on day three, posting four birdies without dropping a shot, to be the 54-hole leader at 18 under. The four-time Ryder Cup team member won a bronze medal for the United States of America at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Stock markets drifted lower Friday as investors booked some profits after an encouraging couple of weeks that have helped numerous world's leading indexes halve the losses notched up during a bleak end to 2018.

Treasury yields fell on safe-haven buying spurred by stock losses and as data showed USA consumer prices fell for the first time in nine months in December.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 34 cents, or 0.65%, to US$52.25 per barrel.

Brent net-long positions - the difference between bullish and bearish wagers - climbed 3.8 percent to 158,146 options and futures contracts in the week ending January 8, the ICE Futures Europe exchange said on Friday. It added 23 cents to $52.94 per barrel on Thursday.

Oil also caught investors' attention after U.S. crude and Brent jumped overnight, helped by optimism over easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions, while OPEC-led crude output cuts also provided support. Brent for March settlement gained 4.6% to $61.44 and traded at an $8.75 premium to WTI for the same month.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 107.92 yen from 108.15 yen late Wednesday.

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