April 15, 2016 / 7:12 PM / 2 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil down ahead of producer meeting; dollar slips

* Caution ahead of oil producers’ meeting caps stocks

* China economy grows 6.7 pct in Q1 as expected

* Shares steady after 2.5 pct weekly rise, at 2016 highs

* Oil dips ahead of Doha producers’ meeting (Updates prices, adds comment)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, April 15 (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 were set to post weekly gains.

Indexes were slightly lower on Wall Street but the S&P 500 was set to close its seventh positive week in the last nine.

The U.S. dollar index fell as traders cashed in after three days of gains and was weighed further by data showing U.S. industrial production fell more than expected in March and consumer sentiment missed expectations.

Both the MSCI index of stocks across the globe and the S&P 500 hit their highest points of the year this week and emerging market stocks racked up their best weekly gain in six. European shares fell 0.4 percent but were on track to post their largest weekly gain in two months.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 32.09 points, or 0.18 percent, to 17,894.34, the S&P 500 lost 3.04 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,079.74 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 8.45 points, or 0.17 percent, to 4,937.44.

Japan’s Nikkei 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 slipped 0.2 percent after the U.S. currency had gained more than 1 percent against both the yen and the euro 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.

“Overall, 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 were down 1.8 percent at $43.06 and U.S. crude fell 2.9 percent, trading at $40.30. Both were on track to finish the week higher after rallies of about 8 percent in the previous week.

Safe-haven gold was on course for a weekly loss, the first in three.

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 said 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 rose 10/32 in price to yield 1.7483 percent, from 1.781 percent late Thursday.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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