Oil jumps on Opec deal while bond rout resumes

Oil jumped yesterday as Opec members clinched a deal to cut production, while upbeat US economic data and comments from the US Treasury Secretary nominee triggered a selloff in the bond market.

Higher crude prices bolstered shares of energy producers and stock prices around the world, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting record highs.

An improving view on global growth, led by the United States on hopes of tax cuts and federal spending under a Trump administration, rekindled the dollar’s push toward a near 14-year peak.

Stronger investor confidence reduced safe-haven demand for gold, which was on track for its steepest monthly loss since mid-2013.

Brent crude was last up $3.58, or 7.72 per cent, at $49.96 a barrel. US crude was last up $3.28, or 7.25 per cent, at $48.51 per barrel.

The rally in energy shares helped lift the Dow and S&P 500 to record intraday highs. The blue-chip US stock indexes were also boosted by bank stocks on bets of loosening of regulation under Mr Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66.43 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 19,188.03, the S&P 500 gained 2.69 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 2,207.35 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 23.18 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 5,356.73.

European stocks also advanced on a jump in oil companies. But regional banks struggled after news Royal Bank of Scotland failed a Bank of England stress test and Italian lenders fell before a referendumon the country’s political system on Sunday.

The jump in oil prices, together with stronger-than-expected data on US private job growth and regional manufacturing yesterday, ignited a wave of selling in bonds, pushing benchmark US yields toward their highest levels since July 2015.

An aversion to own long-dated US government bonds grew following comments from US Treasury nominee Stevem Mnuchin who told CNBC television: “We’ll look at potentially extending maturity of the debt because eventually we’re going to have higher interest rates.”

US 10-year Treasury note yield rose 10 basis points to 2.40 per cent, a tad below last week’s 2.42 per cent that was the highest since July 2015.

German 10-year Bund yield was 4 basis points higher at 0.26 per cent, while Japanese 10-year yield edged up 1 basis point at 0.03 per cent.

Rising US yields and upbeat domestic data pushed the dollar index up 0.72 per cent at 101.66, which was still short of the near 14-year high of 102.05 set last week.

Meanwhile, gold was on track for its biggest monthly decline since mid-2013, largely pressured by the bets of a series of US interest rate hikes over the next year as US growth seemed to accelerating.

Spot gold prices fell $16.81 or 1.41 per cent, to $1,171.53 an ounce.


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