(Bloomberg) — Crude slid amid speculation the conflict in Yemen won’t have an impact on the global oil glut, while the dollar held gains. Asian index futures were mixed after U.S. stocks rallied Friday to trim their worst week since January.
U.S. and Brent crude oil fell at least 0.9 percent by 7:57 a.m. in Tokyo, after losses of more than 4 percent on Friday. Copper futures dropped 0.5 percent. The greenback climbed 0.2 percent against Australia’s currency after the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose a second day Friday amid gains versus commodity currencies. Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures fell in Chicago, after contracts on Hong Kong indexes rose in most recent trading. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures lost 0.1 percent after the gauge snapped a four-day drop Friday.
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While Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen elevates the risk of a disruption in the world’s largest oil-producing region, it’s unlikely to have a near-term effect on global stockpiles, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that she expects rates to be raised this year and that subsequent increases will be gradual without following a predictable path. Japan reports on factory output Monday, and the Bank of Korea’s governor speaks.
“Clearly investors are not convinced that the conflict in Yemen will materially compromise global oil supplies,” Tony Farnham, an economist at Patersons Securities Ltd., wrote in an e-mail to clients. “Yellen did say at least that she expects the Fed to raise interest rates later this year.”
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West Texas Intermediate crude sank 1.5 percent to $ 48.13 a barrel after sliding 5 percent on Friday, trimming its weekly gain to 6.9 percent. Brent oil lost 0.9 percent to $ 55.90 a barrel Monday following last week’s 2 percent gain.
Yemen lies on one side of Bab el-Mandeb, the fourth-busiest oil and fuel shipping bottleneck in the world by volume, while neighboring Saudi Arabia exports more crude than any other country. While the bombing is boosts risks to the world’s largest oil-producing region, a supply glut in the U.S. continues to hold prices at less than half their June peak.
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The Aussie dropped for a fifth straight day, declining 0.2 percent to 77.37 U.S. cents, while New Zealand’s currency slipped 0.2 percent to 75.56 U.S. cents following Friday’s 0.4 percent retreat. The Canadian dollar was near a one-week low after U.S. oil snapped its five-day advance.
The euro was little changed for a second trading day, at $ 1.0886, while the yen was steady at 119.23 per dollar. Japan’s currency added 0.8 percent last week in a second round of gains. The Bloomberg dollar gauge, which tracks the greenback against 10 major peers, climbed 0.5 percent over the last two days of the week, reducing its weekly retreat to 0.3 percent. It’s set for a ninth straight monthly gain.
The dollar’s advance has been tempered the past two weeks after Fed officials reduced their forecasts for rates and economic growth March 18 and indicated they were in no rush to boost borrowing costs. The Fed has held its main rate at zero to 0.25 percent since 2008 to support the economy. While the U.S. ponders tightening, policy makers from Europe to Asia are easing to ward off deflation and stoke growth.
“Most of the week the dollar was still under pressure — this was the aftermath of the FOMC decision,” Georgette Boele, a currency strategist at ABN Amro Bank NV, said by phone from Amsterdam on Friday, referring to the Fed’s Open Market Committee. Even after the slump, “investors are looking for a moment to get in, to get long dollar,” and will probably buy if the greenback falls to $ 1.09 to $ 1.10 per euro, she said.
Japanese industrial production probably extended its contraction in February, with provisional data Monday expected to show a 0.6 percent drop from the previous year, after January’s 2.8 percent slump, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.1 percent to 19,310 by 3 a.m. Saturday in Osaka, while yen-denominated contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were down 0.1 percent to 19,340 after rising 0.3 percent Friday. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index sank 0.6 percent in most recent trading, as contracts on the Kospi index in Seoul dropped 0.1 percent.
Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced, gaining 0.4 percent in recent trading, while contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 1.3 percent. The Enterprises gauge, which tracks mainland Chinese stocks listed in the city, fell 2.1 percent last week. FTSE China A50 Index futures were down 0.4 percent in Singapore. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.3 percent in early Monday trading.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent Friday to 2,061.02, cutting its weekly drop to 2.2 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 2.7 percent last week, the most since October, as a push to top its dot-com-era record stalled 10 points short. A Nasdaq index of biotechnology shares tumbled 5.3 percent from an all-time high. The gauge’s worst week in a year trimmed its 2015 advance to 14 percent.
“The pendulum is now shifting away from stocks that had strong representation within the overall market for the last several years toward more low-momentum stocks and sectors,” Chad Morganlander, a money manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., which oversees about $ 170 billion, said by phone Friday.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index surged 16 percent last week, the most since Jan. 30.
Copper futures on the Comex fell a second day, slipping to $ 2.7530 a pound after a 1.6 percent decline Friday trimmed last week’s third consecutive gain to 0.2 percent.
Gold was little changed at $ 1,198 an ounce after halting its longest run of daily gains since August 2012 on Friday to drop 0.5 percent. The precious metal still gained 1.4 percent in the week, fueled by demand for haven assets on the Fed’s rate outlook and the prospect of a wider conflict in the Middle East.
To contact the reporter on this story: Emma O’Brien in Wellington at firstname.lastname@example.org
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