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Oil up in choppy trade as dollar and stocks dip

Crude futures rallied in choppy trading yesterday ahead of an Opec meeting later in the week that could reap production cuts, while the US dollar recovered from earlier losses but was still slightly lower.

The dollar index dipped 0.08 per cent. The US currency sank as much as 1.6 per cent against the yen, going as low as 111.32 yen before recovering to 112.3.

Most analysts said the dip in the dollar since Friday was simply a corrective pullback with the greenback still on track for its strongest two-month gain since early 2015.

The euro was little changed versus the greenback after having gained nearly one per cent to $1.0684 as it got a lift from the election of Francois Fillon as the centre-right candidate in next year’s French presidential election. It was last at $1.0582 .

On Wall Street, consumer and financial stocks weighed on the S&P 500 after rallying last week. Recently battered stocks in utilities and telecom services posted the largest gains.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets tomorrow, while a week heavy in US economic data including a GDP revision, inflation, factory and services activity is set to climax on Friday with the monthly jobs report.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44.64 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 19,107.5, the S&P 500 lost 5.6 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 2,207.75 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.49 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 5,385.43.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.85 per cent, while MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe fell 0.16 per cent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.9 per cent.

Asian shares rose 0.5 per cent overnight led by gains in Hong Kong and Taiwan, though Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.1 per cent.

Oil prices jumped in volatile trading after falling as much as two per cent, recouping losses as the market reacted to the shaky prospect of major producers being able to agree output cuts later this week.

US crude last rose 2.5 per cent to $47.23 a barrel and Brent traded at $48.42, up 2.5 per cent on the day.

Industrial metals also remained red hot on hopes of strong demand for property and infrastructure investment in China and the United States.

Chinese steel futures jumped nearly six per cent.

Spot gold rose 0.7 per cent to $1,191.15 an ounce. US gold futures added 1.0 per cent to $1,190.70 an ounce.

In the bond market, the 10-year US Treasury yield hit a session low at 2.312 per cent. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 12/32 in price to yield 2.3267 per cent.

US Treasury yields fell from last week’s multi-month or multi-year highs on month-end buying and views that the selloff that followed the surprise US presidential election victory of Donald Trump earlier this month may have gone too far.

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