Economy

Oil prices up with OPEC cuts, US-China trade talks

Oil prices up with OPEC cuts, US-China trade talks

That added to advances since last week in equity markets around the world, following a strong USA employment report and comments from the Federal Reserve chief that calmed worries that US interest rate hikes would hurt growth.

"If you want to gauge how investors are viewing the trade talks, just watch tech, and semiconductors in particular", said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago.

The U.S. wants China to change its technology policy to reduce cyber theft of trade secrets and seeks more access to the Chinese market and increased protection for foreign patents and copyrights. Hong Kong's Hang Seng recovered from early losses and added 0.2 percent.

"Sentiment is greatly improved, and trade talk optimism has helped boost risk-appetite across the week", said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group in a note on Friday, although he added that at this stage "there is a lack of anything concrete between the USA and China".

"After a awful December for risk markets, crude oil continues to catch a positive vibe", said Stephen Innes at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, noting that investors were growing less fearful that U.S. The S&P 500 index added 0.4 percent to 2,584.96. The fact that talks lasted a day longer than planned, the release of conciliatory statements from both sides and the possibility of higher-level talks in the near future are fueling gains in Asia.

The U.S. and China are working out a possible deal to end a bitter trade dispute that has already recorded tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports and levies on $110 billion of U.S. goods.

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On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters the countries were having "tremendous success" in their discussions, but offered no other details. Producer prices inched up 0.9 percent from a year ago, far from November's 2.7 percent rise. Slowing inflation raises doubts about the health of the world's second largest economy.

International Brent crude futures were at United States dollars 60.66 a barrel early Friday morning, down USD 1.02.

Oil headed for its biggest weekly gain in over two years on hopes that OPEC will manage to shrink a glut and trade tensions between the US and China will ease. That helped Boeing climb 2.6 percent to $352.61 and General Electric jumped 5.2 percent to $8.94 while Deere rose 3.1 percent to $159.12.

International Brent crude futures were also down 1.3 percent, or 79 cents, at $60.65 per barrel.

West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $52.36/bbl, completing a 23% recovery since hitting an 18-month low on Christmas Eve. It climbed 4.6 percent to $61.44 a barrel in London. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gave up 62 cents to $60.82 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 108.26 yen from 108.43 yen late Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1559 from $1.1543.


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