Business News

Crude Spread Disappears

Another big day for oil prices! West Texas Intermediate yesterday settled at a premium to its global counterpart Brent crude for the first time in more than five years, and the spread between the two oil benchmarks is now nonexistent. While the lifting of the oil export ban and a surprise dip in inventories could be triggering the move, analysts focused on investor sentiment ahead of the holidays, with traders covering shorts and squaring away their positions.  (SA)
Meanwhile, OPEC has published its closely watched annual World Oil Outlook, which anticipates the price of its basket of crudes to rise to $70/bbl in 2020 and $95/bbl by 2040.  The forecast also underlined demand expectations for OPEC crude to reach nearly 31m bpd in 2020, which is a million barrels less than current production.  (Bloomberg)
A 37 per cent advance isn’t enough to make Nike shares one of the top ten performers on the S&P 500 this year, but it’s comfortably leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  The shares have added a further 3 per cent this morning in pre-market trading after yesterday afternoon’s quarterly results again topped Wall Street’s forecasts.  Robust demand has allowed Nike to hurdle the drag on overseas sales from a stronger dollar as the company continues to benefit from consumers’ increasing habit of wearing sports fashions outside the gym.  (FT)  
A final blitz of US economic data before Christmas has, more or less, matched forecasts.Personal spending climbed 0.3 per cent in November in an acceleration from the 0.1 per cent advance in October, according to the Commerce Department. Incomes rose a better than expected 0.3 per cent.  Consumer spending remained a bright spot for the economy last quarter, shouldering more of the burden for growth as exports were knocked by the stronger dollar. (FT)

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