Oil slides as crude stocks mount, dollar strengthens | Reuters
By Lewis Krauskopf | NEW YORK NEW YORK Falling oil prices weighed on energy shares on Tuesday in the wake of a report of rising crude stocks, while the U.S.
By Lewis Krauskopf
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Falling oil prices weighed on energy shares on Tuesday in the wake of a report of rising crude stocks, while the U.S. dollar strengthened ahead of an expected Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates.Oil slid after OPEC reported a rise in global crude stocks and a surprise output jump from its biggest member, Saudi Arabia. Even though OPEC made an upward revision to its global demand outlook, signs of even modestly higher Saudi output flustered investors.U.S. crude prices CLc1 settled down 1.4 percent at $47.72 a barrel, touching their lowest point since Nov 30. Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 settled down 0.8 percent at $50.92 a barrel."None of the data you’re getting is good if you’re trying to increase (crude) prices. It doesn’t look like oil supply is diminishing," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS fell 0.4 percent. On Wall Street, major equity indexes fell, with the energy sector .SPNY declining 1.1 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 44.11 points, or 0.21 percent, to 20,837.37, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 8.02 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,365.45 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 18.97 points, or 0.32 percent, to 5,856.82.Shares of U.S. hospitals and health insurers fell after a forecast that 14 million Americans would lose medical insurance by next year under a Republican plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.With the Fed widely expected to raise rates, the focus of Wednesday's decision will be on other aspects, including the pace of future hikes.“People tomorrow are going to be looking at what the Fed says after the meeting, what the rationale is for their move, and what they say about their balance sheet,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
"They have a balance sheet full of bonds they bought during (quantitative easing) and they’re going to start getting rid of them. Investors are wondering, what will be the process," Hellwig said.Investors also are assessing the potential outcome and impact of a gathering of G20 finance chiefs, U.S. President Donald Trump's first budget and a tense election in the Netherlands.After four sessions of gains, the pan-European STOXX 600 share index shed 0.3 percent, as banking .SX7P and energy .SXEP shares fell.
British shares edged lower, weighed down by banking stocks as Britain gets set to start negotiating its departure from the European Union.The dollar rose 0.4 percent against a basket of key currencies .DXY, bolstered by the widely expected U.S. rate increase and by political risks in Europe as Dutch elections get under way.The euro EUR= fell 0.4 percent on caution ahead of the Dutch vote.U.S. long-dated and benchmark Treasury yields edged lower after the drop in oil prices was viewed as a deflationary sign, but the drop in yields was limited as investors awaited the Fed's policy statement.Prices on benchmark 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR rose 2/32 to yield 2.600 percent, from 2.607 percent late on Monday. (Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York and Nigel Stephenson in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.