Oil, gold prices drop as shares surge

Gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange, above, climbed to their highest level in nearly a month. (Reuters)
Updated 12 March 2018

Oil, gold prices drop as shares surge

LONDON: Oil prices fell on Monday on expectations that US output will rise this year, erasing earlier gains buoyed by lower weekly US rig counts and falling US unemployment.
Brent crude futures were at $64.04 per barrel, down 45 cents from their previous close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 54 cents to $61.50 a barrel.
Helping the dip, hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish wagers on US crude oil for the first time in three weeks, data showed on Friday.
The reduction came as gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to their highest level in nearly a month.
“Rising production and inventory in the United States has been reducing fund sentiment since it peaked at the end of January,” ING said in a note.
Meanwhile, gold also fell on Monday as the previous session’s upbeat US payrolls data sparked a fresh rally in stock markets and shored up expectations that the Federal Reserve would press ahead with further interest rate hikes this year.
World stocks hit a two-week high on Monday after Friday’s strong jobs data helped offset investors’ concerns about the potential for a trade war between the United States and other major economies. Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,316.81 an ounce.
US stocks advanced on Monday, with gains in shares of chipmakers and technology giants helping Wall Street extend last week’s rally that was powered by US jobs data.
Gains in Apple, Amazon and chipmakers Broadcom and Micron Technology drove the S&P 500 higher.
Broadcom rose 2.9 percent following report that Intel was considering a possible bid for the company.
General Electric rose 2.2 percent and was the biggest boost to the Dow.
In Saudi Arabia, the index climbed 1.1 percent, surpassing its January peak to close at its highest level since October 2015.
Petrochemicals were particularly strong as National Petrochemical, which had jumped 10 percent on Sunday after reporting annual net profit more than doubled, rose by the same margin again.
Saudi Industrial Investment Group, which had gained 10 percent on Monday after reporting annual profit increased more than ten-fold, added 5.3 percent.
Exchange data released after the close on Sunday showed foreign investors were net buyers of Saudi stocks last week to the tune of $115 million, as they positioned for expected decisions by equity index compilers in the next few months to upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status.


Aramco international listing ‘still on the cards’: Saudi finance minister

Updated 54 min 12 sec ago

Aramco international listing ‘still on the cards’: Saudi finance minister

  • The minister said that he was “very confident” that the Saudi economy was picking up speed
  • He said that international investors had responded positively to ongoing reforms in the Kingdom

LONDON: Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that an international listing of Saudi Aramco was “still on the cards” but likely won’t happen soon.
He made the disclosure in an interview with Bloomberg News at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The minister also said that he was “very confident” that the Saudi economy was picking up speed, as the Kingdom successfully completed a $5 billion bond sale this week after receiving orders for four times as much.
“Yesterday showed very clearly that demand for Saudi credit is very high and very healthy. We are very pleased not only with the level of debt but also the pricing,” he said. “Demand is very positive. We are starting seeing results of Vision 2030. The numbers are proving that reform is working. We are basically cashing on the successes.
The minister said that international investors had responded positively to ongoing reforms in the Kingdom.
“I think investors are focusing on fundamentals,” he said. “They see the growth they see the potential. We are seeing a growth in FDI, a growth in the number of applications for licenses. The confidence is back in a strong way.”