Weekly news summary for Feb 8 to Feb 14, 2019

Friday, Feb 8: Crude Posts Losses on OPEC US Legislation Threats

Oil prices hit a one-and-a-half low on Friday, weighed by reports of the Congress pursuing a legislation that would allow the US government to charge OPEC countries for fixing prices.

US crude oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures last stood at $52.61 per barrel, while Brent oil futures gained 0.4% to $61.89 a barrel.

Monday, Feb 11: US Dollar Books Best Levels for 2019

The US dollar rose to a 2019 high against its major peers on Monday, as lingering concerns over global growth outlook boosted appetite for safe-haven assets.

The dollar index climbed to $96.62, a level last reached on December 17, and was on track to hit eight straight days of gains.

Tuesday, Feb 12: Dow Futures Register Triple-Digit Gains

US stock futures were up on Tuesday as investors expressed optimism over news of a tentative deal on border security funding and positive signals around US-China trade negotiations.

Blue-chip Dow futures posted a triple-digit rise of 372 points, while the S&P 500 added 1.3 percent and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 1.4 percent.

Wednesday, Feb 13: Kiwi Dollar Climbs on Less Dovish RBNZ

The kiwi dollar rallied as much as 1.7% on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s policy decision appeared less dovish than traders had expected.

The central bank kept its official cash unchanged at a record low cash rate of 1.75%, although it did not provide any new dovish clues either for future monetary policy changes or headline economic indicators.

Thursday, Feb 14: China January Trade Data Exceeds Expectations

China’s exports made an unexpected recovery in January after falling the prior month, while imports dropped less than expected, but analysts see renewed trade weakness ahead as a March 1 deadline looms for Beijing and Washington to ease their trade war.

Customs data released on Thursday showed the country’s exports grew 9.1% last month, indicating a turnaround from December’s 4.4% fall, while imports were down 1.5 percent, but still better than economists’ estimate of a 10% decline.

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