Oil shares lift global stocks, crude dips on doubt over OPEC deal

29 Sep, 2016 8:49 pm
LONDON – An agreement by OPEC members to curb output boosted oil company shares on Thursday, lifted the currencies of crude-producing countries, and drove yields on low-risk government debt higher.


Global stocks were pulled higher by the oil company rally, although Wall Street, which rose on Wednesday after the agreement was struck, looked set to open flat.

Crude prices fell after Wednesday’s near 6 percent surge as investors questioned whether OPEC’s first deal to limit output since 2008 would restore balance to the oversupplied oil market.

But the surprise agreement boosted investors’ appetite for riskier assets and saw the safe-haven Japanese yen fall 1 percent against the dollar at one point.

“Everything you’re seeing today is a response to the move in crude and the possible coordination necessary for OPEC to do what it has announced. Even though I think the agreement is probably a bit flimsy, the amount of coordination is part of the reason for the rally in risk,” said BMO Capital Markets currency strategist Stephen Gallo.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.8 percent, led higher by a 4.4 percent rise in the oil and gas companies sub-index .SXEP.

Among leading gainers, Tullow Oil (TLW.L) rose 9 percent, Statoil (STL.OL) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) rose more than n5 percent and Total (TOTF.PA) added more than 4 percent.

In Russia – a major oil producer – the dollar-denominated RTS share index .IRTS rose 2.3 percent.

Oil companies, and the weaker yen, also lifted Tokyo shares, which closed 1.4 percent higher .N225

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan.MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.5 percent. The main MSCI emerging market equities index .MSCIEF rose by a similar amount.

However, Indian stocks fell as much as 2 percent at one point .NSEI after New Delhi launched strikes on militants it suspects of preparing to infiltrate into the part of Kashmir it controls. The Indian rupee fell almost 1 percent against the dollar INR=. OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, agreed to cut output to a range of 32.5-33.0 million barrels a day from the group’s current estimate of 33.24 million barrels, ministers at the talks in Algiers said.

However, each member’s output levels will be decided at the next formal OPEC meeting in Vienna in November, when non-OPEC countries such as Russia could also be invited to join the cuts.

“I’m very sceptical about whether this deal actually means a cut in output, or whether it’s trying to raise the price a bit, because OPEC’s not an effective cartel anymore, it controls less than half the world oil supply,” said Malcolm Bracken, investment manager at Redmayne-Bentley.

Goldman Sachs said the deal could add as much as $10 to oil prices in the first half of next year but, given the uncertainty of the proposal, stuck to its year-end and 2017 oil price forecasts.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down 25 cents at $48.4 a barrel, after hitting a high of $49.09 on Wednesday.

“We think that OPEC is running a dangerous game if the aim is to push the crude oil price higher from here in the short term as it would just activate more U.S. shale oil production,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodity analyst at SEB.

Oil-producer’s currencies, including the Canadian dollar CAD= and the Norwegian crown EURNOK= rose on the deal but gave up some of the gains on Thursday in line with oil.

However, the Japanese yen JPY, often sought when investor appetite for risk is low, fell. It was last down 0.8 percent at 101.43 per dollar, having fallen as low as 100.62.

German 10-year government bond yields DE10YT=TWEB, the euro zone benchmark, rose 3 basis points to minus 0.12 percent. U.S. 10-year yields US10YT=RR rose 1.5 bps at 1.582 percent.

An inflationary rise in oil prices would rattle investors already nervous that an era of central bank stimulus may be coming to an end.

However, given doubts about the deal, BNP Paribas European rates strategist Patrick Jacques said the upward pressure on bond yields would prove temporary.

“Even if there’s a 5 percent rise in oil prices, this will not trigger a strong rebound in inflation and at these levels, oil output is still higher than demand so we’re unlikely to see a massive rally in oil,” he said. –Reuters

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