Monday, November 20, 2017

© Reuters.  Top 5 things to know today in financial markets© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets

Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, October 16:

1. Oil Prices Jump as Iraqi, Kurdish Forces Clash Near Kirkuk

Oil prices rose to their best level in around three weeks, boosted by reports of escalating violence between Iraqi troops and Kurdish forces near Kirkuk. The province is home to some of Iraq’s main oil fields.

The fighting follows a referendum in which the Kurds, who run their own semiautonomous region in northern Iraq, voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence last month, defying Baghdad, regional powers and the U.S.

Brent crude, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose 73 cents, or around 1.3%, to $57.92 a barrel, after reaching its highest since Sept. 28 at $58.13 earlier in the session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures tacked on 67 cents, or about 1.3%, to $52.12 a barrel. Cuts to U.S. drilling rigs and an explosion overnight at an oil rig in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain also boosted prices.

2. U.S. Earnings Season Kicks into High Gear with Netflix in Focus

There are dozens of earnings reports on the docket today, as the U.S. third-quarter earnings season gather pace.

Most of the focus will fall on tech darling Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which reports results after the closing bell. The streaming giant is expected to post earnings of 32 cents per share on revenue of $2.97 billion.

Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), Celanese (NYSE:CE), CSX (NASDAQ:CSX), IDEXX Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX) and Ruby Tuesday (NYSE:RT) are among some of the other big names on today’s agenda.

3. Euro on the Backfoot Amid Catalonia Uncertainty

The euro moved lower for the third session in a row after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont once again failed to clarify whether the region was officially declaring independence after a Monday deadline set by the central government passed.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said shortly afterwards that the Catalan government now had until Thursday to clarify if the region had declared independence or not.

Concerns over the outcome of Sunday’s Austrian election and a setback for German chancellor Angela Merkel in state elections at the weekend further weighed.

The euro was down around 0.3% against the dollar to 1.1785, slipping further from a recent two-and-a-half-week high of 1.1880.

4. China Inflation Data Sends Metals Prices Higher

Industrial metals rallied after data showed China’s factory-gate prices shot up to a six-month high last month, in a sign manufacturing and construction activity remains robust.

China’s producer price index rose 6.9% in September from a year ago, well above the 6.3% forecast, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said earlier.

Copper futures rallied 7.0 cents, or 2.3%, to their best level since Aug. 2014 at $3.205 a pound. Other industrial metals, such as palladium, zinc, nickel and lead were also higher.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of metals and construction is a key driver of demand.

5. Global Stock Markets Extend Winning Streak

World shares extended their climb to new highs, supported by optimism about global growth.

Asian-Pacific equities gained for a fifth day running to its highest level since late 2007. Among notable standouts, Japan’s Nikkei climbed for a sixth day to a level not seen since November 1996, while South Korea’s stock index set a new record.

In Europe, shares were a shade higher in mid-morning trade, with Germany’s DAX trading near last week’s record highs, while Spain’s IBEX 35 underperformed as the Catalonia crisis continued to steer Spanish stock performance.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks inched modestly higher, setting the Dow and Nasdaq on track for all-time highs, as investors looked to key earnings reports to set the tone for the markets.

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