NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices retreated on Friday amid a global glut, racking up a 20 percent drop for November, while most major equity markets kept moves tight ahead of weekend talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Staff/Remote
U.S. shares, however, turned positive midday after a Chinese official said at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina that the United States and China were making progress on trade talks.
“Consensus is steadily increasing,” Wang Xiaolong, director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s department of international economic affairs, told Reuters on the sidelines of the summit.
In Europe, Frankfurt’s export-heavy DAX stock index and Britain’s domestic-focused FTSE 250 both faced a fourth consecutive month of declines.
The German index had its worst run since late 2008, weighed by Deutsche Bank shares’ falling to an all-time low as police searched the bank’s headquarters for a second day in a money laundering scandal linked to the Panama Papers.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.10 percent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.17 percent.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94.44 points, or 0.37 percent, to 25,433.28, the S&P 500 gained 13.17 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,750.93, and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.66 points, or 0.34 percent, to 7,297.74.
November’s real humdingers have been oil and shares of Apple Inc, which have plunged 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, the biggest declines for both since the financial crisis a decade ago.
(Graphic: Oil and Apple November slump – tmsnrt.rs/2RvE5jC)
Swelling inventories depressed sentiment and oil prices, despite widespread expectations that OPEC and Russia would agree on some form of production cut next week. OPEC and its allies are meeting in Vienna next week to discuss oil production.
U.S. crude oil futures settled at $50.93 per barrel, down 52 cents, or 1.01 percent. Brent settled at $58.71 per barrel, down 80 cents, or 1.34 percent.
Markets could have a wild December if Trump and Xi fail to de-escalate their trade rhetoric during talks at this weekend’s G20 meeting in Argentina.
“People don’t want to get too optimistic heading into a meeting, because the (U.S.) president is kind of a wild card,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York. “You don’t know how tough he’ll be with this meeting and these negotiations.”
Data on Friday added to the anticipation, showing that growth in China’s vast manufacturing sector stalled this month for the first time in more than two years.
Trump has sent mixed signals, saying, “I think we’re very close to doing something with China, but I don’t know that I want to do it,” because the money coming in from the tariffs he has imposed has been so lucrative.
The dollar rose as investors prepared for fallout from the talks, which are expected to increase volatility across markets.
The dollar index, tracking it against six major currencies, rose 0.5 percent, with the euro down 0.71 percent to $1.131.
Reporting by Hilary Russ; Additional reporting by Marc Jones and Christopher Johnson in London; Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Karen Brettell in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Adler