Wednesday June 8th


US futures higher; WTI breaks above $51

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday as U.S. crude futures reach new eight-month highs. Crude price broke above $51 for the first time since July amid supply disruptions in Nigeria. Industry data had also shown a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories on Tuesday, indicating an easing of the supply glut, and a weak dollar, which hit a five-week trough against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, also boosted prices. "The market sentiment is positive; the trend and the momentum points to further gains," said Carsten Fritsch, commodities analyst at Commerzbank. U.S. crude futures climbed 69 cents to $51.05 a barrel by 7:55 a.m. ET (1155 GMT), having earlier hit $51.12, the highest level since July. Global benchmark Brent crude futures rose to 76 cents at $52.20 a barrel, after striking a high going back to Oct. 12. European stocks traded lower on Wednesday, giving up Tuesday's gains, but Asian shares edged up after the Chinese central bank said it still expected the economy to grow by 6.8 percent this year despite weak export data. The Nikkei 225 reversed morning losses to close up 155.47 points, or 0.93 percent, at 16,830.92, after the yen weakened against the dollar. The dollar-yen pair traded at 107.06 as of 3:39 p.m. HK/SIN, compared with an earlier session low of 106.7. In the Tuesday session, the dollar/yen traded at levels near 107.9. Chinese mainland markets closed lower, with the Shanghai composite down 9.34 points, or 0.32 percent, at 2,926.69, and the Shenzhen composite was off by 6.25 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,918.62. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was down 30.36 points, or 0.14 percent, at 21,297.88. In South Korea, the Kospi advanced 15.45 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,027.08. Job openings and labor turnover (JOLTs) data is released on Wednesday. Lululemon posted a five percent quarterly decline in net profit on Wednesday. Meanwhile, India's prime minister continues his visit to the U.S. Narendra Modi met with President Barack Obama Tuesday and attended an event with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who announced the company would invest another $3 billion in India. In other company news, Panasonic shares were higher in Japan after Tesla Motors said it was working exclusively with Panasonic to supply batteries for the Model 3. And Ford and Fiat Chrysler are cutting production of its smaller car at some North American factories as buyers shift towards larger vehicles. Gold touched a two-week high on Wednesday, bolstered by a weaker dollar on declining expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates any time soon. Investors have almost priced out the chance of a rate increase at the Fed's June 14-15 policy review, and see the likelihood of a July rate hike reduced to around 26 percent since disappointing jobs data last week and comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Monday. Spot gold rose 0.92 percent to $1,254.81 an ounce. It hit a high of $1,253.66 earlier in the session, its strongest since May 23. U.S. gold climbed 0.8 percent to $1,257.