Wednesday November 30th


Wall Street points to higher open on soaring oil prices; OPEC meeting in focus

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday as traders eyed a sharp jump in oil prices ahead of a potential production cut deal from OPEC. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $49.96 a barrel on Wednesday, up 7.7 percent, while U.S. crude was around $48.43 a barrel, up 6.9 percent. OPEC began on Wednesday debating a deal to curtail oil production in an effort to prop up the price of crude. On Wednesday morning, the cartel agreed on a plan to cut output based on an outline hammered out in Algiers in September, according to Reuters citing a source. Wednesday will see a host of data reports, with Chicago PMI, pending home sales, NY Fed household debt and the latest beige book report will also be released throughout the trading day. According to ADP and Moody's Analytics, private companies added 216,000 jobs in November, well above the expected 165,000. ADP and Moody's report is often seen as a prelude to the U.S. government's monthly jobs report, due Friday. Meanwhile, consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in October, while personal income gained 0.6 percent, the best showing since April. On the earnings front, PVH, Box, Guess and Pure Storage are all due to report after the market close. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.51 percent higher on Wednesday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.98 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.01 percent higher. Gold was barely changed on Wednesday, but some analysts say there is scope for further downside after bullion endured its worst month of losses since June 2013. Gold has shed about 7 percent in November and analyst Daniel Briesemann at Commerzbank in Frankfurt reckons that bullion has not yet stabilized. "Recently there's been a perfect storm against gold with higher risk appetite, rising stock markets and bond yields, massive ETF (exchange traded fund) outflows and the withdrawal of speculative financial investors," he said. "We don't think this is over yet. Normally lower prices should attract higher demand, but the Indian situation is putting the brakes on gold buying." The shock withdrawal of high-value notes to fight "black money" in India, the world's second biggest consumer of gold, has hit gold demand during the peak wedding season. Spot gold on Wednesday was down 0.4 percent at $1,183.44 an ounce at 7:25 a.m. EDT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $1,186.80. Bullion has lost $150 from a Nov. 9 post U.S. election high of $1,337.40 per ounce, hurt by a rally in the U.S. dollar on surging Treasury yields as investors believed President-elect Donald Trump's policies would invoke faster inflation.