ude oil continues to stabilize in the $45.00 to $50.00 zone with WTI and Brent posting gains in the 1.5% to 2.5% range this morning. The IEA cut its production growth forecast for countries outside OPEC this morning while Schlumberger announced 9,000 layoffs last night indicating that companies have started to curtail exploration and growth programs in response to lower prices. Service company reports remain a key bellweather at this point for indications of how aggressively producers are working to get their costs down.
Market reaction in oil sensitive currencies today has been mixed. CAD and RUB remain soft but NOK has been rallying as the Norwegian government worked to shore up confidence indicating that the country has been discussing measures to deal with lower oil prices. It also indicated that while lower oil will hit GDP growth, the country is not in crisis and the Norges Bank has already cut rates to shore up the economy. Should prices remain low, the pressure on the Bank of Canada to cut rates may also grow.
CHF remains volatile as it tries to find appropriate levels against other currencies after yesterday’s big surprise peg removal by the Swiss National Bank. So far today it has continued to give back some of its gains against USD, CAD, EUR and JPY to name a few.
Gold continues to climb today at a more moderate pace while European indices have stabilized with the Dax
sitting on 10,000 as traders wait to see if the ECB will deliver on high hopes for big stimulus at its meeting next week.
US indices are moderately lower this morning. Consumer prices came in around expectations leaving expectations of a mid-year start to Fed interest rate increases unchanged. There is more data to come but overall, US action may be more subdued today with traders focused on positioning ahead of the long weekend and Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday.
Schlumberger $1.50 vs street $1.46, 25% dividend increase, laying off 9,000 employees
Intel $0.74 vs street $0.66
Goldman Sachs $4.38 vs street $4.32
SunTrust Banks $0.88 vs street $0.63
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
International Energy Agency cut its 2015 non-OPEC supply forecast by 350,000 bbl/d
US consumer prices 0.8% vs street 0.7% vs previous 1.3%
US CPI ex food and energy 1.6% vs street 1.7%
Germany consumer prices 0.2% as expected
Eurozone consumer prices (0.2%) as expected
Eurozone core CPI 0.7% vs street 0.8%
Economic reports due later today include:
9:15 am EST US industrial production street (0.1%)
9:15 am EST US manufacturing production street 0.2%
10:00 am EST US consumer sentiment street 94.1
FOMC members Williams and Kocherlakota speaking Friday
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