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While you were sleeping: Wall St, oil climb

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

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Wall Street and oil moved higher, following a weekend during which US President Donald Trump made few stumbles in his first overseas trip and major oil producers seemed to agree on extending a plan to curtail output. 

OPEC and its partners are expected to prolong an agreement to limit production when they gather this Thursday. 

"The decision [to extend cuts] seems to be almost a done deal," Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets, told Reuters. "There seems to be a very high harmony in the group."

Wall Street also advanced as Trump travelled in the Middle East, a welcome reprieve from the intensifying crisis over reports that he tried to obstruct a probe into his campaign’s links to Russia. 

In 2.42pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.7 percent. In 2.27pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.5 percent.

"The bar for success has been set extremely low for President Trump and it seems that he's been able to meet that over the weekend," Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, told Reuters.

The Dow moved higher as gains in shares of Cisco and those of Boeing, up 2.2 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, outweighed declines in Pfizer and those of Nike, recently 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent weaker respectively. 

Shares of Ford rose, up 1.8 percent as of 2.36pm in New York, after the car maker said it appointed Jim Hackett as the new CEO, replacing Mark Fields.

“We need to speed up our decision-making, we need to invest our capital where we can create value, and we have to move decisively to address underperforming areas,” Ford Chairman Bill Ford told reporters during a press conference, Bloomberg reported.

The latest US economic data were better than expected, as the Chicago Federal Reserve’s national activity index climbed to 0.49 in April, up from 0.07 in March and the highest reading in four years. 

In Europe the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session edging less than 0.1 percent down from the previous close. France’s CAC40 Index inched 0.03 percent lower, while Germany’s DAX Index fell 0.2 percent.  

The UK’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.3 percent, led by Marks & Spencer and Burberry.

The euro strengthened, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the currency’s weakness was in part to blame for the nation’s trade surplus. 

“The euro is too weak—that’s because of [European Central Bank] policy—and so German products are cheap in relative terms,” Merkel said in Berlin during a school visit on Monday, Bloomberg reported. “So they’re sold more.”



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