Monday December 28th

28-12-2015

Wall Street seen lower as falling oil prices weigh

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Monday, as crude oil prices fell following the Christmas weekend. U.S. and Brent crude futures for February both fell on Monday, but West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures accelerated losses during early trading, struggling to defend its newly gained premium. U.S. crude gained around 9.7 percent last week, its biggest weekly gain since early October. No major earnings are due on Monday or for the rest of the week. The only economic data of interest on Monday is the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey at 10:30 a.m. ET. With the benchmark S&P 500 up just 0.1 percent on the year, this week's trade will determine whether or not the index ends 2015 in positive territory. U.S. markets closed mixed to lower on Christmas Eve, with the S&P 500 down 0.2 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite flat. Trade is seen thin on Monday, with several international stock markets closed. These include the London Stock Exchange and markets in Ireland, Australia and Canada. The U.S. dollar moved off a two-month low against the Japanese yen on Monday, following downbeat economic data from Tokyo. Both Japan's factory output and retail sales fell 1 percent month-on-month in November, missing market expectations. Despite this, the main Nikkei 225 stock index closed up around 0.6 percent on the day. However, the Chinese Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen both closed more than 2 percent lower after the People's Bank of China set the yuan mid-point range at 6.4750 per dollar and reports showed Chinese industrial profits fell in November for a sixth consecutive month. Oil fell to about $37 a barrel on Monday, trading within sight of an 11-year low, pressured by excess supply that has more than halved prices since the downturn began in mid-2014. U.S. crude was trading slightly higher than global benchmark Brent, having earlier in December risen to a premium for the first time in about a year following the lifting of a 40-year-old ban on most U.S. crude exports. The international crude oil futures benchmark Brent was trading down 91 cents at $36.98 a barrel at 8:13 a.m. EDT (1313 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down $1.16 at $36.94 per barrel. Trading volume was lighter than normal due to a UK public holiday. Gold edged lower on Monday in line with a retreat in oil prices, giving up some of last week's gains, but moves were muted in thin liquidity in a holiday-shortened week. Spot gold was down 0.45 percent at $1,070.58 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery were down $5.50 an ounce at $1,070.60.