Oil prices dropped today on concerns whether the cartel would implement a deal to reduce production, after data revealed that the oil output in Russia rose to a post-Soviet high. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that Russia was willing to collaborate on reducing crude output early next year. But with cuts only being implemented next year against end of 2016 levels, experts supported that there was still a possibility that oversupply, which has halved oil prices since 2014, remains in place next year. In today’s oil markets Crude oil futures were last seen trading 0.6 percent lower at $50.77 while Brent Oil futures lost 0.7 percent at $53.58 as of 10:05 GMT.
Investors will also be largely focusing on today’s Non-Farm Payrolls reports which is expected to be significantly higher with forecast pointing to a 175K new jobs! A strong NFP is expected to support the dollar and cause dollar denominated commodities such as gold and oil to plunge further!
The European Central Bank is expected to announce a six-month extension to its quantitative easing program next week, according to a recent Reuters poll. It is worth noting that ECB President Mario Draghi stated on Wednesday that the bank will look at a combination of policy tools when it meets on Dec. 8 and that ultra-easy monetary policy has given governments in the region time for reforms. Moreover, while economic data have admittedly improved recently, threat’s to the euro zone’s financial stability have also risen, with Italy holding a referendum on constitutional reforms on Dec 4 and possibly destabilizing upcoming national elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands in 2017.
House builder conglomerate Berkeley Group has bolstered profits by an impressive 34 percent despite seeing demand take a hit from Brexit uncertainty! The group, which is based in London, recorded pre-tax profits of up to £392.7m in the six months to the end of October! The earnings are mostly due to higher price sales. It is worth noting however, that chief executive Rob Perrins said underlying demand was 20% lower compared to the same period last year.
Europe opened lower amid as political uncertainty in Italy and France intensified. Sunday’s referendum in Italy continued to worry the markets as it could spark fresh elections and hinder the recapitalization efforts for Italian banks. To add to the existing pressure, President Francois Hollande of France announced Thursday he would not be seeking a second term in the country’s upcoming presidential elections! Investors will also be keeping an eye on the much anticipated nonfarm payrolls numbers due to be released at 13:30 GMT. In today’s E.U. markets, Germany’s DAX lost 1 percent at 10434.55, U.K.’s FTSE 100 plunged 0.9 percent at 6692.70, France’s CAC 40 dipped 1.3 percent at 4498.5 while the EuroStoxx was last seen trading 1.1 percent lower at 2994.00 as of 10:05 GMT.