Monday May 15th


Futures point to a higher open on Wall Street as oil prices soar

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday as traders digested news of an extension of an agreement to freeze oil output. Oil prices jumped after the Saudi Arabian and Russian energy ministers said in a joint statement that an OPEC-led crude production cut would be extended from the middle of this year until March 2018. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak met on Monday in China's capital Beijing and jointly said that a deal to cut crude supplies in order to prop up the market would be extended from the middle of this year until March 2018. Brent crude traded at $52.39 a barrel on Monday, up 3.05 percent, while U.S. crude was around $49.45 a barrel, rising 3.37 percent. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump is under pressure from lawmakers to turn over any tapes of his conversations with the former FBI chief James Comey. On the data front, the Empire State manufacturing index dropped to negative 1 in May from a print off 5.2 last month. The National Association of Home Builders survey at 10 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, Nippon Telegraph and Trivago posted quarterly results before the bell. Vipshop and Noah Holdings are all due to report after the market close. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was 0.2 percent lower on Monday. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.22 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.07 percent lower. Gold rose on Monday as U.S. political turmoil, a successful missile test by North Korea and a worldwide cyber attack fuelled demand for bullion as a safe haven, while weaker than-expected U.S. data pushed the U.S. dollar and bond yields lower. Lower yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, while a weaker dollar makes the metal cheaper for holders of other currencies. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,231.49 an ounce at 1101 GMT, on track for a third day of gains after hitting an 8-week low of $1,213.81 last week. U.S. gold futures were 0.3 percent higher at $1,231.20 an ounce.