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Weekly news summary for February 15-21, 2019

Friday, Feb 15: Oil Prices Register 2019 Highs

Oil prices traded on bullish territory on Friday to hit their best levels for the year, driven by OPEC-led output cuts and Saudi Arabia’s plans of further supply reductions as well as the partial shutdown of its largest offshore field.

Brent oil futures closed Friday’s session with a 2.6% gain at $66.25 a barrel, ending above the $65 level for the first time in 2019, while US crude oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures climbed 2.2% to $55.58 a barrel, also its highest since November 19.

Monday, Feb 18: Asian Stocks Rally as Trade Talks Continue

Asian stocks rallied on Monday amid expectations for further progress in US-China trade talks continuing in Washington this week.

Shanghai blue chips climbed 2.7% to reach their highest level in more than six months, while the Hang Seng index added 1.6% and the Nikkei rose 1.8% to its highest so far this year.

Tuesday, Feb 19: Walmart Holiday-Quarter Sales Surge, Shares Rise

Walmart’s holiday fourth-quarter rose above expectations as its e-commerce sales grew 43%, sending its stock up nearly 5% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

The US retail giant reported net income for the fourth quarter ended January 31 of $3.69 billion or $1.27 per share, while its revenue almost gained 2% to $138.79 billion compared with forecasts of $138.7 billion.

Wednesday, Feb 20: US Dollar Unchanged, Yuan Hits 3-week High

The US dollar took a breather on Wednesday as traders await the Federal Reserve’s policy minutes, while the yuan advanced to a three-week high after the US called for China to prevent a devaluation of its currency as part of a trade deal.

The dollar index stood at $96.43, below a two-month high posted last week, while Chinese yuan was its strongest since Feb 1, trading near the 6.72 level.

Thursday, Feb 21: Lenovo Returns to Profit, Shares Rise Above 11%

Lenovo Group returned to profit in the third quarter amid a bruising US-China trade war, posting market-beating results on Thursday, which sent its shares soaring more than 11% and raising its market value by around $1 billion.

Lenovo’s net profit for the quarter rose to $233 million, beating analysts’ forecast of $207 million and recovering from a $289 million loss booked in the same period a year ago when the company took a hit due to US tax reforms.

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