April 15, 2016 / 5:21 AM / 2 years ago

Oil down ahead of producer meeting; dollar slips

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil prices fell on Friday ahead of a weekend meeting that could yield an output freeze by major producers, while the U.S. dollar and stocks across the globe edged lower but posted weekly gains.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

On Wall Street, energy stocks led the market slightly lower as oil fell, and Apple (AAPL.O) shares also weighed after Nikkei business daily reported Apple will continue its reduced production of iPhones in light of sluggish sales.

The S&P 500, however, posted its seventh positive week in the last nine.

The MSCI index of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS hit its highest point of the year on Thursday and emerging market stocks .MSCIEF racked up their best weekly gain in six. European shares .FTEU3 fell 0.3 percent but posted their largest weekly gain in two months.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 28.97 points, or 0.16 percent, to 17,897.46, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 2.05 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,080.73 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 7.67 points, or 0.16 percent, to 4,938.22.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 closed 6.5 percent higher for the week.

China’s economy grew 6.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, meeting expectations and providing additional evidence that a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy may be bottoming out.

The dollar index .DXY slipped 0.2 percent after the U.S. currency had gained more than 1 percent against both the yen JPY= and the euro EUR= earlier this week.

Speculation was still rife about whether top oil producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia will be able to reach a deal in Qatar on Sunday to curb output.

“I think the fact that oil producers are talking suggests that the psychology of the market has changed a little bit and probably the worst of the oil price declines is behind us. This would be good for risk sentiment going forward,” said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 1.7 percent at $43.10 and U.S. crude CLc1 fell 2.7 percent, trading at $40.40. Both finished the week higher after rallies of about 8 percent in the previous week.

U.S. Treasury yields fell after the weaker-than-expected economic data, which suggests sluggish inflation and could prompt Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to hold off on raising U.S. interest rate hikes further according to Lou Brien, markets strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago.

“We do have a bid in the market and I think it’s because of the continued weakness in industrial production and utilization,” Brien said.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury note US10YT=RR rose 8/32 in price to yield 1.7535 percent, from 1.781 percent late Thursday.

Safe-haven gold XAU= posted a weekly loss, the first in three.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, Lewis Krauskopf, Dion Rabouin, Devika Krishna Kumar and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Diane Craft

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