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U.S. pending home sales unexpectedly slump in January

February 27, 2017, 03:02

Investing.com - Pending home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in January, dampening optimism over the health of the housing sector, industry data showed on Monday.

In a report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its pending home sales index decreased by a seasonally adjusted 2.8% last month, disappointing expectations for an increase of 0.8%.

The pending home sales index decreased to 106.4 in January from the prior 109.5 (initially 109.0).

December’s reading was revised to a 0.8% gain, compared to the initial reading of a 1.6% increase.

Year-on-year, pending home sales increased at an annualized rate of 0.4% in January.

“Insufficient supply levels led to a lull in contract activity in the Midwest and West, which dragged down pending home sales in January to their lowest level in a year,” NAR explained in the report.

“The significant shortage of listings last month along with deteriorating affordability as the result of higher home prices and mortgage rates kept many would-be buyers at bay,” NAR chief economist Larry Yun said.

According to Yun, interest in buying a home is the highest it has been since the Great Recession.

“Households are feeling more confident about their financial situation, job growth is strong in most of the country and the stock market has seen record gains in recent months,” he said.

“Sales got off to a fantastic start in January, but last month's retreat in contract signings indicates that activity will likely be choppy in coming months as buyers compete for the meager number of listings in their price range,” Yun concluded.

Immediately following the report, EUR/USD was trading at 1.0594 from around 1.0603 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.2429 compared to 1.2419 previously, while USD/JPY was at 112.35 from 112.17 earlier.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 100.00, compared to 100.91 ahead of the report.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets traded slightly lower after the open. The Dow 30 dropped 0.01%, the S&P 500 lost 0.03%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.04%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,258.00 a troy ounce, compared to $1,259.45 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $54.24 a barrel from $54.39 earlier.

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Oil rises as OPEC cuts overshadow swelling U.S. stockpiles

February 27, 2017, 02:37

Investing.com - Oil prices were higher during North American morning hours on Monday, rising back toward an eight-week high amid growing confidence that OPEC’s production cuts will outweigh a gain in U.S. stockpiles.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract rose 43 cents, or around 0.8%, to $54.42 a barrel by 9:40AM ET (14:40GMT). The U.S. benchmark reached $55.03 last Tuesday, a level not seen since January 3.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for May delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London added 57 cents, or about 1%, to $56.88 a barrel. The global benchmark touched $57.31 last week, just shy of its highest level of the year.

Hedge funds extended their bullish bets on oil to an all-time high last week as OPEC and non-OPEC countries made a strong start to lowering their oil output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day by the end of June, with compliance currently at around 90%.

OPEC could extend its oil supply-reduction pact with non-members or even apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop to a targeted level, OPEC sources said earlier this month.

Concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand limited gains.

Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by five last week, the sixth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 602, the most since October 2015.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that crude supplies rose by 564,000 barrels last week to yet another all-time high, feeding concerns about a global glut.

Oil prices have been trading in a narrow $5 range around the mid-$50s over the past two months as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers and expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for April rose 1.9 cents, or around 1.1%, to $1.755 a gallon, while March heating oil jumped 1.9 cents, or 1.2%, to $1.668 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for April delivery sank 10.2 cents, or almost 4%, to $2.681 per million British thermal units.

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U.S. January durable goods orders up 1.8%, core orders off 0.2%

February 27, 2017, 01:57

Investing.com - U.S. January durable goods orders rose more than expected, official data showed Monday.
Orders were up 1.8% month-on-month in January.
The Commerce Department revised the December figure to a fall of 0.8% from an initial fall of 0.5%.
Analysts had expected durable goods to rise 1.7% in the first month of the year.
Core durable orders were down 0.2% vs. a forecast rise of 0.5%.
The December figure was revised to up 0.9% from an initial reading of a rise of 0.5%.

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Gold ticks down but holds near 3-1/2-month high ahead of busy week

February 27, 2017, 01:47

Investing.com - Gold prices edged lower during North American morning hours on Monday, holding near a three-and-a-half-month high as traders avoided taking strong positions before President Donald Trump’s address to Congress, a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and important economic data this week.

Comex gold futures dipped $2.35, or about 0.2%, to $1,255.95 a troy ounce by 8:45AM ET (13:45GMT), pulling back from the prior session's high of $1,261.20, a level not seen since November 10.

Spot gold was also down around 0.2% to $1,255.20 per ounce.

President Donald Trump will make his first major address to Congress on Tuesday. Investors are hopeful he will shed light on his economic agenda, most notably tax reform.

Beyond tax reform, investors will be eager to learn more about Trump's plans for repealing the Affordable Care Act, reducing regulations on businesses and increasing infrastructure spending.

Analysts warned that market sentiment could take a hit if Trump's plans look slow to execute or are overly vague.

President Trump has been credited with being a major catalyst behind the stock market's impressive rally in recent weeks, although he has yet to outline his economic policies in detail.

This week is also peppered with a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday, as investors look for further insight on interest rate hikes ahead of the central bank's March meeting.

In addition, market players will keep an eye out on a revised reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth data on Tuesday to gauge the strength of the economy.

Besides the GDP report, this week's calendar also features U.S. data on durable goods orders on Monday, consumer confidence on Tuesday, personal consumption expenditures and ISM manufacturing on Wednesday, weekly jobless claims on Thursday followed by the ISM non-manufacturing survey on Friday.

A recent string of solid data reinforced the view that the U.S. economy is sufficiently robust to warrant higher interest rates in the months ahead.

Last week, minutes from the Fed's latest meeting showed policymakers thought it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again "fairly soon", although it gave no firm signal on the timing of its next rate move.

Fed fund futures priced in about a 25% chance of a rate hike in March, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a May increase was seen at 52%, while June odds were at around 70%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.08 in New York morning trade.

Treasury yields inched higher after falling to a five-week low of 2.310% on Friday, with the U.S. 10-Year bond at around 2.340%.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery was little changed at $18.40 a troy ounce after reaching $18.46 earlier, the highest since November 11.

Meanwhile, platinum was up 0.7% to $1,036.05, while palladium gained 0.6% to $777.58 an ounce.

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U.S. durable goods jump in January, core slips

February 27, 2017, 01:32

Investing.com - U.S. orders for long lasting manufactured goods rose more than forecast in January, rebounding after two consecutive months of declines, although the core number registered an unexpected decline, according to official data released on Monday.

Total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, increased by 1.8% last month, the Commerce Department said, compared to economists' expectations for a gain of 1.7%.

December’s orders were revised down to show a decline of 0.8% from a previously reported 0.5% drop.

Durable goods are typically bulky or heavy manufactured products designed to last at least three years.

Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, dropped 0.2% last month, worse than forecasts for a 0.5% gain.

December's core durable goods orders showed a 0.9% advance, revised up from the previous 0.5% gain.

Durable orders excluding defense advanced 1.5% in January, compared to the prior month’s 1.2% increase (revised from a previously reported 1.7% gain).

Durable goods excluding defense and aircrafts fell 0.4% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.5% gain.

The previous month was revised up to a 1.1% rise from the prior 0.7% gain.

Immediately after the report, EUR/USD was trading at 1.0584 from around 1.0583 ahead of the publication; GBP/USD exchanged hands at 1.2419 compared to 1.2412 previously; while USD/JPY was at 112.47 from 112.40 earlier.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was unchanged at 101.08.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow futures lost 33 points, or 0.16%, the S&P 500 futures lost 2 points, or 0.08%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures traded down 11 points, or 0.21%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,255.05 a troy ounce, compared to $1,256.05 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded unchanged at $54.52.

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Trump expected to provide details but time may be running out –Barclays

February 27, 2017, 01:14

Investing.com – U.S. President Donald Trump is widely expected to provide further details on his policies, particularly on tax reform, in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, but time may be running out for any changes to have an impact this year, according to Barclays (LON:BARC).

These analysts pointed out that there has been a lack of specifics on major policy items such as public investment or tax reform.

“While there have been some hints about the type of corporate income tax reform that the administration might deliver – a broadening of the base and cuts to the tax rates – markets are still waiting for the 2017 key draft fiscal budget,” they explained.

“We think that the presentation to Congress will be a good opportunity for the President to more clearly flesh out his policy priorities and goals, especially on trade, taxes, and public investment,” they added.

However, these experts warned that with Republican leaders continuing to stress immigration, Affordable Care Act (ACA) reform, and other priorities over fiscal policies, the risk of delay in tax and spending policies was rising.

“Time is clearly running out for enacting expansionary fiscal policies that might provide a boost to growth and inflation in 2017,” they warned.

These analysts noted that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated last week that his goal was to pass major tax reform legislation before Congress leaves for the August recess, but noted that the timeline was ambitious and could be delayed.

These experts suggested that the administration would need to shift gears from immigration and health care to tax and spending policies, if there was to be a chance for a boost to the economy in the current calendar year.

“Absent any re-prioritization of policy in the next few weeks, we believe investors should re-orient their view on tax reform to 2018,” they said.

“Our baseline remains a combination of anti-trade policies in the form of tariffs against Mexico and China and expansionary fiscal policy that provides a boost to economic activity later this year, but we must acknowledge that the probability of our baseline materializing has fallen in recent weeks,” they concluded.

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U.S. natural gas sinks 5% amid lack of cold weather

February 27, 2017, 01:15

Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures fell sharply on Monday, sliding back toward the lowest level since November as forecasts called for mostly warmer-than-normal weather in key regions across the U.S. for the rest of the winter.

U.S. natural gas for April delivery dropped 10.6 cents, or around 3.8% to $2.681 per million British thermal units by 8:15AM ET (13:15GMT) after being down by nearly 5% earlier. Futures touched a three-and-a-half-month low of $2.522 last Wednesday.

Prices of the heating fuel dropped 7% last week, taking its losses for the year to a whopping 30% amid forecasts for warm winter weather.

Based on data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, this year’s extremely warm winter has pushed heating demand for natural gas to nearly 20% below average.

About half of U.S. homes use natural gas for heating.

Meanwhile, market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a draw in a range between 1 and 10 billion cubic feet in the week ended February 24.

That compares with a withdrawal of 89 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, 48 billion a year earlier and a five-year average drop of 132 billion cubic feet.

Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.356 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2.5% lower than levels at this time a year ago and 6.6% above the five-year average for this time of year.

Without significant demand for natural gas, inventories could stay near record levels and may even continue to pull prices even lower.

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U.S. stock index futures flat as Trump speech awaited

February 27, 2017, 12:50

Investing.com - U.S. stock index futures were flat Monday ahead of a Trump speech on Tuesday.
The Dow futures was unchanged at 06:45 ET. The DJI posted its 11th record close in a row on Friday.
TheS&P 500 futures gained 0.02%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.07%.
Investors are looking to Trump's address to Congress for clues to his fiscal stimulus plans.
The dollar treaded water, while oil rose as investors opted to focus on output cuts.
Durable goods orders and pending home sales are due for release.

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U.S. futures lower as markets wait for Trump; durable goods on tap

February 27, 2017, 11:58

Investing.com - Wall Street futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Monday as investors waited for a couple of data points with markets likely to be on hold ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress a day later.

The blue-chip Dow futures fell 27 points, or 0.13%, by 6:57AM ET (11:57GMT), the S&P 500 futures slipped 1 point, or 0.06%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 7 points, or 0.12%.

Markets showed little movement as investors looked ahead to Trump's speech to Congress on Tuesday, where he is expected to provide clues on his plans to on policy priorities and goals, especially on taxes, trade and public investment.

On Monday, the President will meet with top executives from the health insurance industry at 10:30AM ET (15:30GMT) at the White House in what would appear to be preparation for his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Cigna (NYSE:CI)'s chief executive officer, David Cordani, and Humana (NYSE:HUM) CEO Bruce Broussard are among a group of industry leaders due to meet with the president. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents insurers in every state, will also attend.

On the data front, January durable goods orders will be out at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT) followed by pending home sales for the same month at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT).

Dallas Federal Reserve president Robert Kaplan will also be speaking at 11:00AM ET (16:00GMT).

Meanwhile, oil prices traded higher on Monday, rising back toward an eight-week high on increasing confidence that OPEC’s supply curbs will outweigh a gain in U.S. stockpiles.

U.S. crude futures gained 0.69% to $54.36 by 6:58AM ET (11:58GMT), while Brent oil traded up 0.87% to $56.80.

Elsewhere, sterling was under pressure Monday on reports of a possible push for a fresh Scottish referendum over its independence from Britain as the U.K. moves forward with plans to leave the European Union.

The Times reported U.K. PM Theresa May's government is bracing for a new move for a vote on Scottish independence which could coincide with the triggering of the Article 50 which begins negotiations for Britain to leave.

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Top 5 things to watch today

February 27, 2017, 11:35

Investing.com - Global stocks in holding pattern before Trump speech
Dollar treads water ahead of busy week.
Trump to meet with health insurers.
Scottish referendum fears weigh on pound.
(LON:LSE), (DE:Deutsche Boerse) deal in jeopardy.

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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Monday

February 27, 2017, 10:43

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, February 27:

1. Global stocks in holding pattern before Trump speech

U.S. stock market futures pointed to a muted open near all-time highs on Monday morning, as investors looked ahead to President Donald Trump's speech to Congress on Tuesday, where he is expected to provide clues on his plans to cut taxes.

President Trump has been credited with being a major catalyst behind the stock market's impressive rally in recent weeks, although he has yet to outline his economic policies in detail.

In Europe, stocks were mixed in mid-morning trade, but held near their best levels since late 2015.

Earlier, in Asia, markets ended mostly lower, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing down around 0.8%, while Japan's Nikkei dropped about 0.9%.

2. Dollar treads water ahead of busy week

The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies on Monday as traders avoided taking strong positions before President Trump’s address to Congress, a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and important economic data in the week ahead.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.05 in New York morning trade.

Treasury yields inched higher after falling to a five-week low of 2.31% on Friday, with the U.S. 10-Year bond at around 2.338%.

Against the yen, the dollar added 0.1% to 112.24, after falling to a low of 111.92 earlier in the session, its lowest since February 9.

Meanwhile, the euro was up 0.2% on the day at 1.0582, as concerns about France's upcoming election eased following favorable opinion polls for independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

3. Trump to meet with health insurers

President Donald Trump will meet with top executives from the health insurance industry at the White House on Monday.

Cigna (NYSE:CI)'s chief executive officer, David Cordani, and Humana (NYSE:HUM) CEO Bruce Broussard are among a group of industry leaders due to meet with the president. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents insurers in every state, will also attend.

Trump has pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare, former President Barack Obama's national healthcare law that redesigned the U.S. insurance market for individuals. It is not clear yet what Republicans will agree upon to replace the current insurance. Insurers say any new plans are not likely to hit the market before 2019.

4. Scottish referendum fears weigh on pound

The British pound dropped against all its major peers on Monday, following a report of a possible Scottish independence referendum in March.

GBP/USD skidded 0.3% to 1.2428, after touching a daily low of 1.2385, a level not seen since February 15, while EUR/GBP gained 0.3% to 0.8515.

Sterling was pressured after The Times reported that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing for the Scottish government to call a second independence referendum, which will reportedly coincide with the triggering of Article 50 expected in March.

On Friday, the pound began to slide after the Independent newspaper reported the Scottish government is seriously considering a second independence referendum next year.

5. LSE, Deutsche Boerse deal in jeopardy

London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSE) said its proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse (DE:DB1Gn) was unlikely to be approved by the European Commission, leaving the stock market operators' third attempt at combining on the brink of failure.

The two exchanges announced plans to merge in a 29 billion euro deal just over a year ago, aiming to create a giant trading powerhouse that would better compete against U.S. rivals that were starting to encroach on the pair's turf.

But the LSE said late Sunday it wouldn’t sell its majority-owned fixed-income trading platform in Italy to appease antitrust concerns over the deal.

Shares of LSE lost more than 3% in London, while Deutsche Boerse shares dropped 3% in Frankfurt.

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European stocks mixed, LSE-Deutsche Boerse merger derailed, DAX up 0.1%

February 27, 2017, 10:09

Investing.com – European stocks traded with mixed signs on Monday as investors digested company headlines and showed concern over a possible new call for a referendum in Scotland.

Nearing midday in Europe, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 inched up 0.09%, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.06%, and Germany’s DAX 30 traded up 0.10%.

The London Stock Exchange Group (LON:LSE) and Deutsche Boerse (DE:DB1Gn) fell around 3% on Monday as the British operator said it was “highly unlikely” to be able to comply with antitrust conditions set by the European Commission in order to go ahead with a €29 billion ($30.7 billion) merger.

Shares of Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) jumped more than 5%, leading the Stoxx 600 higher, as the Italian bank announced that it will not bid for Generali (MI:GASI). The Italian insurer tumbled 4% on the news.

Sterling was under pressure Monday on reports of a possible push for a fresh Scottish referendum over its independence from Britain as the U.K. moves forward with plans to leave the European Union. The Times reported U.K. PM Theresa May's government is bracing for a new move for a vote on Scottish independence.

In economic data, the euro zone saw private sector loans rise at an annualized rate of 2.2%, beating expectations for a 2.1% gain. The 2.3% increase in lending to businesses was its best reading since mid-2009, while the 2.2% rise in lending to households was its biggest advance since May 2011.

Additionally, the M3 money supply eased to a 4.9% advance in January, ahead of forecasts for a 4.8% rise.

Furthermore, readings on optimism in the region generally improved as expected with the business and consumer survey for February rising to 108.0

Meanwhile, oil prices traded higher on Monday, rising back toward an eight-week high on increasing confidence that OPEC’s supply curbs will outweigh a gain in U.S. stockpiles.

Energy stocks were trading mixed, as French oil and gas major Total SA (PA:TOTF) fell 0.71%, Italy’s ENI (MI:ENI) was unchanged, while Norwegian rival Statoil (OL:STL) rose 0.61%.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) gained 0.66% and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) traded up 0.81%, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) rose 0.72% and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) inched up 0.03%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) jumped 5.11% but Unicredit (MI:CRDI) slipped 0.08%, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) traded up 0.97% and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) advanced 0.46%.

In London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.24%.

Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) slipped 0.05%, Anglo American (LON:AAL) gained 1.48%, while BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) traded up 1.15% and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) rose 0.54%.

Energy stocks traded higher, as BP (LON:BP) traded up 1.14% and Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) gained 0.70%.

Financial stocks were mixed as shares of HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) rose 0.14% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) lost 1.85%, while Barclays (LON:BARC) dropped 0.13% but Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) gained 0.64%.

In the U.S., futures pointed a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.12%, S&P 500 futures dropped 0.06%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.12%.

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Global stocks mixed, dollar flat as Trump speech eyed

February 27, 2017, 09:28

Investing.com - Asia lower. Nikkei 225 off 0.91%. Yen slightly lower vs. the dollar.
Europe mostly higher. DAX up 0.13%. FTSE 100 up 0.31%.
(LON:LSE) shares off over 3% as exchange says EC unlikely to approve merger with (DE:Deutsche Boerse)
U.S. stock index futures edge higher after DJI posts 11th straight closing high on Friday.
Dollar index mostly flat as market looks to Trump speech Tuesday for clues to fiscal stimulus plans.
Oil higher as output cuts hold sway over higher Baker Hughes U.S. rig count.
Gold lower. U.S. Treasury yields higher.

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Oil starts the week higher amid optimism over OPEC cuts

February 27, 2017, 09:12

Investing.com - Oil prices were higher during European morning hours on Monday, rising back toward an eight-week high on increasing confidence that OPEC’s supply curbs will outweigh a gain in U.S. stockpiles.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract rose 42 cents, or around 0.8%, to $54.41 a barrel by 4:10AM ET (09:10GMT). The U.S. benchmark reached $55.03 last Tuesday, a level not seen since January 3.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for May delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London added 55 cents, or about 1%, to $56.86 a barrel. The global benchmark touched $57.31 last week, just shy of its highest level of the year.

Hedge funds extended their bullish bets on oil to an all-time high last week as OPEC and non-OPEC countries made a strong start to lowering their oil output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day by the end of June, with compliance currently at around 90%.

OPEC could extend its oil supply-reduction pact with non-members or even apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop to a targeted level, OPEC sources said earlier this month.

Concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand limited gains.

Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by five last week, the sixth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 602, the most since October 2015.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that crude supplies rose by 564,000 barrels last week to yet another all-time high, feeding concerns about a global glut.

Oil prices have been trading in a narrow $5 range around the mid-$50s over the past two months as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers and expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for April rose 1.9 cents, or around 1.1%, to $1.755 a gallon, while March heating oil jumped 1.5 cents, or 1%, to $1.663 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for April delivery sank 10.6 cents, or almost 4%, to $2.681 per million British thermal units.

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LSE shares down 3% as Deutsche Boerse merger in danger

February 27, 2017, 09:11

Investing.com - (LON:London Stock Exchange) fell Monday as its planned €29 bn merger with (DE:Deutsche Boerse) was at risk.
LSE shares were down 3.07% at £3,029.00 at 03:45 ET.
LSE said Sunday the European Commission had requested it sell its stake in its MTS trading platform.
The exchange rejected that request, describing it as "disproportionate."
"The Commission is unlikely to provide clearance for the merger," the LSE said.

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Pound dips on possible new Scottish independence vote push

February 27, 2017, 08:46

Investing.com - Sterling fell Monday on reports of a possible push for fresh Scottish independence vote.
The Times reported U.K. PM Theresa May's government is bracing for a new move for a vote on Scottish independence.
The pound was off 0.39% at $1.2413 at 03:00 ET. It eased 0.59% to €1.1733.
Scotland rejected independence in a referendum held in September 2014.
The push for a fresh Scottish plebiscite could be sparked by May's government invoking Article 50 to exit the EU.
Scotland voted to remain in the EU in the Brexit referendum held in June of last year.
The dollar index was off 0.05% at 101.07 ahead of a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump to Congress on Tuesday.
The dollar was up 0.03% at 112.19 yen.
Investors are waiting for details of Trump fiscal stimulus plans.

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Gold steady near 3-1/2-month high as markets await Trump, Yellen

February 27, 2017, 08:07

Investing.com - Gold prices were little changed near a three-and-a-half-month high during European morning hours on Monday, as market players looked ahead to U.S. President Donald Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday for further details on his promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

Investors also looked ahead to a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday for further hints on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

Comex gold futures dipped $1.35, or about 0.1%, to $1,256.85 a troy ounce by 3:05AM ET (08:05GMT), just shy of the prior session's high of $1,261.20, a level not seen since November 10. Spot gold was steady at $1,256.10 per ounce.

President Donald Trump will make his first major address to Congress on Tuesday. Investors are hopeful he will shed light on his economic agenda, most notably tax reform.

Beyond tax reform, investors will be eager to learn more about Trump's plans for repealing the Affordable Care Act, reducing regulations on businesses and increasing infrastructure spending.

Analysts warned that market sentiment could take a hit if Trump's plans look slow to execute or are overly vague.

President Trump has been credited with being a major catalyst behind the stock market's impressive rally in recent weeks, although he has yet to outline his economic policies in detail.

This week is also peppered with a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday, as investors look for further insight on interest rate hikes ahead of the central bank's March meeting.

In addition, market players will keep an eye out on a revised reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth data on Tuesday to gauge the strength of the economy.

Besides the GDP report, this week's calendar also features U.S. data on durable goods orders on Monday, consumer confidence on Tuesday, personal consumption expenditures and ISM manufacturing on Wednesday, weekly jobless claims on Thursday followed by the ISM non-manufacturing survey on Friday.

A recent string of solid data reinforced the view that the U.S. economy is sufficiently robust to warrant higher interest rates in the months ahead.

Last week, minutes from the Fed's latest meeting showed policymakers thought it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again "fairly soon", although it gave no firm signal on the timing of its next rate move.

Fed fund futures priced in about a 25% chance of a rate hike in March, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a May increase was seen at 52%, while June odds were at around 70%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.05 in London morning trade, not far from Friday's one-week low of 100.64.

Treasury yields were little changed after falling to a five-week low of 2.31% on Friday, with the U.S. 10-Year bond at around 2.338%.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery tacked on 1.6 cents, or about 0.1%, to $18.42 a troy ounce after reaching $18.46 earlier, the highest since November 11.

Meanwhile, platinum was up 0.3% to $1,031.70, while palladium was flat at $773.10 an ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper futures lost 1.1 cents, or about 0.4%, to $2.685 a pound.

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Spanish CPI -0.3% vs. -0.2% forecast

February 27, 2017, 08:00

Consumer price inflation in Spain fell more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Monday.

In a report, Instituto Nacional de Estadistica said that Spanish CPI fell to -0.3%, from -0.5% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Spanish CPI to fall -0.2% last month.
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Top things to watch on the economic front this week

February 27, 2017, 07:56

Investing.com - President Donald Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellenspeaks on Friday.
U.S. revised fourth-quarter GDP figures due out Tuesday.
U.K. February PMIs.
Euro-zone flash February inflation figures due out Thursday.

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Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 0.85%

February 27, 2017, 06:55

Investing.com – Japan stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Shipbuilding, Steel and Machinery sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.85%.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (T:7211), which rose 2.93% or 21.0 points to trade at 737.5 at the close. Meanwhile, Pacific Metals Co., Ltd. (T:5541) added 2.25% or 9.0 points to end at 409.0 and TOTO Ltd. (T:5332) was up 2.15% or 90.0 points to 4270.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were NKSJ Holdings, Inc. (T:8630), which fell 4.00% or 174.0 points to trade at 4176.0 at the close. SUMCO Corp. (T:3436) declined 3.79% or 65.0 points to end at 1652.0 and Toshiba Corp. (T:6502) was down 3.66% or 8.2 points to 216.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2170 to 887 and 306 ended unchanged.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 0.70% to 17.27.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.59% or 0.32 to $54.31 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 0.66% or 0.37 to hit $56.68 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.04% or 0.45 to trade at $1257.85 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was down 0.05% to 112.10, while EUR/JPY fell 0.09% to 118.45.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.01% at 101.13.

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Australia stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.26%

February 27, 2017, 05:30

Investing.com – Australia stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Energy, Gold and Consumer Staples sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.26%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Nanosonics Ltd (AX:NAN), which rose 9.41% or 0.240 points to trade at 2.790 at the close. Meanwhile, Corporate Travel Managment Ltd (AX:CTD) added 7.46% or 1.320 points to end at 19.010 and Nextdc Ltd (AX:NXT) was up 7.02% or 0.250 points to 3.810 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Retail Food Group Ltd (AX:RFG), which fell 6.53% or 0.400 points to trade at 5.730 at the close. Japara Fpo (AX:JHC) declined 6.19% or 0.125 points to end at 1.895 and Regis Healthcare Ltd (AX:REG) was down 4.65% or 0.210 points to 4.310.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 631 to 511 and 318 ended unchanged.

Shares in Corporate Travel Managment Ltd (AX:CTD) rose to all time highs; gaining 7.46% or 1.320 to 19.010.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 3.85% to 12.600.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.07% or 0.85 to $1257.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.63% or 0.34 to hit $54.33 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract rose 0.66% or 0.37 to trade at $56.68 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.29% to 0.7691, while AUD/JPY rose 0.30% to 86.30.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.01% at 101.13.

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Asian shares mixed with focus on Trump speech to Congress

February 27, 2017, 04:16

Investing.com - Asian shares were mixed on Monday with attention turning to an address to Congress by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday where spending and tax plans are expected to get more detail.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.16% with exporters under pressure from a stronger yen. Toyota eased 0.78%, Honda dropped 1.66% and Sony fell 0.98%.

As well, shares of Japanese airbag maker Takata rose 0.37% after a Wall Street Journal report that it is on the verge of hiring attorney Kenneth Feinberg to sort through claims for its $125 million compensation fund for victims of faulty air bags.

Feinberg ran a similar program for GM and oversaw compensation funds for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Last month, Takata agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from its fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators. It also announced it will establish two restitution funds: a $125 million fund for individuals physically injured by the faulty airbags who have yet to reach a settlement with Takata, as well as a $850 million fund to shoulder the airbag recall and replacement costs incurred by affected auto manufacturers.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 traded down 0.12%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 0.28% and the Shanghai composite dipped 0.20%.

Last week, U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Utilities, Telecoms and Consumer Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.05% to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index added 0.15%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.17% despite fears that the ‘Trumpflation trade’ was beginning to taper ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress next week while financials lagged.

The so-called ‘Trumpflation trade’ showed signs of fatigue during the session, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that President Trump’s pro-growth policies, which are viewed as inflationary, would probably have limited impact in 2017.

Financials, mostly banks, which have trended higher on President Trump’s promise of fiscal expansion and decrease regulation, slumped to session lows and capped overall upside momentum in U.S. equities.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:NYSE:GS) , Bank of America (NYSE:NYSE:BAC) (NYSE:BAC.N), and JPMorgan (NYSE:NYSE:JPM) (NYSE:JPM.N) closed lower.

Meanwhile a mixed bag of U.S. economic data had little impact on equities as US new home sales missed expectations while consumer confidence marginally beat analysts’ estimates. The Commerce Department said new home sales rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 555,000 units but missed analysts’ estimates of a 6.3% rise in January.
U.S. consumer sentiment remained upbeat, after The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 96.3 in February, compared to expectations of 96.3.

Elsewhere, President Trump signed another executive order, which aims to curb regulations and help businesses but the impact on markets was limited as investors await an update from President Trump concerning his fiscal plans to boost the economy. President Donald Trump is due to address congress on Tuesday, Feb 28.

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Crude prices drift higher in Asia, supply/demand figures awaited

February 27, 2017, 02:48

Investing.com - Crude price gained mildly in Asia on Monday with the market looking ahead to an update on February crude output as early as this week and new demand figures later in the month from the International Energy Agency.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April rose 0.22% to $54.11 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for April delivery gained 0.28% to $56.47 a barrel.

Ahead this week, markets will focus on Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday for further details on his promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending as well as a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday. Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool still sees a low chance for a Fed rate hike in March, though investors are showing caution.

As well, fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Last week, oil futures ended lower on Friday, moving further away from the strongest level since January as concerns over rising production and swelling stockpiles in the U.S. offset optimism that OPEC and its allies have been following through on their commitment to cut production.

Concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand pressured crude prices.

Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by five last week, the sixth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 602, the most since October 2015.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Thursday that crude supplies rose by 564,000 barrels last week to yet another all-time high, feeding concerns about a global glut.

Oil prices have been trading in a narrow $5 range around the mid-$50s over the past two months as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers and expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries have made a strong start to lowering their oil output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day by the end of June, with compliance currently at around 90%.

OPEC could extend its oil supply-reduction pact with non-members or even apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop to a targeted level, OPEC sources said earlier this month.

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Gold prices gain slightly in Asia as Fed, Trump eyed

February 27, 2017, 02:13

Investing.com - Gold prices rose slightly in Asia on Monday with the Fed squarely in focus and remarks to the U.S. Congress by President Donald Trump due Tuesday seen as key to the central bank's views.

Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 0.12% to $1,258.65, up 0.03%.

Ahead this week, markets will focus on Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday for further details on his promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending as well as a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday. Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool still sees a low chance for a Fed rate hike in March, though investors are showing caution.

Last week, gold futures continued to trade near session highs on Friday, buoyed by a slump in the dollar, as optimism concerning ‘Trumpflation’ fades while the latest batch of U.S. economic data had a limited impact on upside momentum in the yellow-metal.

Gold futures capitalized on continued pressure in the U.S. dollar with the yellow-metal hitting its highest point in 3-1/2 months in the intraday session, after the release of mixed U.S. economic data.

The Commerce Department said new home sales rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 555,000 units but missed analysts’ estimates of a 6.3% rise in January. U.S. consumer sentiment remained upbeat, after The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 96.3 in February, compared to expectations of 96.3.

The rally in gold futures comes as Fed minutes released on Wednesday, highlighted a reluctance among some Fed members’ to support a raise in interest rates while uncertainty over the impact of Trump’s economic policies on economic growth remained.

On Thursday U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wants to see "very significant" tax reform passed before Congress' August recess, but indicated that much work was still needed.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s February meeting said it may be appropriate to raise rates again "fairly soon" if jobs and inflation data continues in line with current expectations. But the minutes also noted uncertainty over a lack of clarity on Trump's economic policies and pointed to the risks to the growth outlook from the stronger dollar.

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Pound weaker in Asia on Brexit, Scotland views, Aussie up

February 27, 2017, 01:33

Investing.com - The pound weakened in Asia on Monday as tension over Brexit and a possible Scottish referendum on independence clouded the outlook while the Aussie ticked higher on company earnings data for the fourth quarter.

In Australia, company gross operating profits soared 20.1% in the fourth quarter, well above the 8.0% gain expected.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.05% to 101.07. GBP/USD traded at 1.2426, down 0.29%, while AUD/USD was quoted at 0.7679, up 0.13%. USD/JPY changed hands at 112.02, down 0.12%.

Ahead this week, markets will focus on Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday for further details on his promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending as well as a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday.

Last week, the dollar ticked higher against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday, shrugging off disappointing U.S. home sales data as investors looked ahead to an upcoming speech by President Donald Trump.

Data on Friday showed that U.S. new home sales rose 3.7% to an annual rate of 555,000 units last month, falling short of forecasts for a 6.3% increase to a 570,000-unit rate.

On Thursday U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wants to see "very significant" tax reform passed before Congress' August recess, but indicated that much work was still needed.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s February meeting said it may be appropriate to raise rates again "fairly soon" if jobs and inflation data continues in line with current expectations. But the minutes also noted uncertainty over a lack of clarity on Trump's economic policies and pointed to the risks to the growth outlook from the stronger dollar.

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Australian CGOP 20.1% vs. 8.0% forecast

February 27, 2017, 12:30

Gross operating profits of Australian companies rose more-than-expected in the last quarter, official data showed on Monday.

In a report, Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australian CGOP rose to a seasonally adjusted 20.1%, from 1.0% in the preceding quarter.

Analysts had expected Australian CGOP to rise to 8.0% in the last quarter.
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Pound sterling dips 0.50% in early Asian trade, Scottish vote eyed

February 27, 2017, 12:13

Investing.com - The British pound dipped a bit more than 0.50% early Asian trade on Monday with investors watching the currency as tan exit from the European Union seems assured following a by-election last week that showed the conservatives under Prime Minister Theresa May winning a former staunch Labour Party district.

GBP/USD fell 0.58% against the dollar 1.2394. On report suggested the drop may be linked to a story in the Times of London that May was preparing for the Scottish government to call a second independence referendum to coincide with the triggering of Article 50 in March.

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Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.03%

February 26, 2017, 03:00

Investing.com – Israel stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Insurance, Banking and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 lost 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Melisron (TA:MLSR), which rose 1.93% or 340 points to trade at 17950 at the close. Meanwhile, Paz Oil (TA:PZOL) added 1.66% or 960 points to end at 58700 and Ormat Technologies (TA:ORA) was up 1.33% or 280 points to 21340 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Harel (TA:HARL), which fell 2.63% or 53 points to trade at 1961 at the close. ICL Israel Chemicals Ltd (TA:ICL) declined 1.19% or 19 points to end at 1584 and Poalim (TA:POLI) was down 1.06% or 24 points to 2236.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 189 to 180 and 72 ended unchanged.

Shares in Melisron (TA:MLSR) rose to all time highs; up 1.93% or 340 to 17950. Shares in Ormat Technologies (TA:ORA) rose to all time highs; gaining 1.33% or 280 to 21340.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.83% or 0.45 to $54.00 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to hit $56.31 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.53% or 6.65 to trade at $1258.05 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was down 0.16% to 3.6925, while EUR/ILS fell 0.41% to 3.8977.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.17% at 101.12.

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Saudi Arabia stocks higher at close of trade; Tadawul All Share up 0.05%

February 26, 2017, 01:15

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Multi Investment, Energy&Utilities and Agriculture&Food sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share rose 0.05%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Al-Ahsa Development Co. (SE:2140), which rose 8.67% or 1.30 points to trade at 16.30 at the close. Meanwhile, Dur Hospitality (SE:4010) added 3.97% or 0.95 points to end at 24.90 and Najran Cement Company (SE:3002) was up 3.81% or 0.45 points to 12.25 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Saudi RE Cooperative Reinsurance (SE:8200), which fell 6.21% or 0.55 points to trade at 8.30 at the close. Al-Ahlia Insurance Company (SE:8140) declined 3.82% or 0.50 points to end at 12.60 and Malath Cooperative Insurance Co (SE:8020) was down 3.33% or 0.30 points to 8.70.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 85 to 61 and 25 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.83% or 0.45 to $54.00 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to hit $56.31 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.53% or 6.65 to trade at $1258.05 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was down 0.15% to 3.9612, while USD/SAR rose 0.02% to 3.7506.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.17% at 101.12.

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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: February 27 - March 3

February 26, 2017, 12:15

Investing.com - Gold prices hit three-and-a-half month highs on Friday as hopes for rapid tax reforms under the Trump administration faded, bolstering demand for the precious metal.

Gold for April delivery settled up 0.53% at $1,258.05 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, having touched its highest since November 11 at $1,258.8 earlier.

Gold finished the week with gains of 1.56%, notching up its fourth straight weekly increase.

On Thursday U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wants to see "very significant" tax reform passed before Congress' August recess, but indicated that much work was still needed.

He also suggested that any steps the Trump administration takes on policy would probably have a limited impact this year.

The remarks dampened expectations for policy changes that investors had anticipated would spur inflation and drive up U.S. interest rates.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was at $18.40 a troy ounce late Friday, and ended the week up 2.24%, in its ninth straight weekly gain.

Copper was at $2.696 a pound and ended the week down 0.92%, its second straight weekly drop as concerns over the demand outlook weighed.

Platinum ended up 1.89% to $1,031.05 late Friday, hitting its highest since February 9.

In the week ahead, global financial markets will focus on U.S. President Donald Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday for further details on his promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

This week is also peppered with a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday.

Investors will also be watching a revised reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth to gauge the strength of the economy. Private sector survey data from the UK and euro zone inflation data will also be in focus.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, February 27

The U.S. is to release data on durable goods orders and pending home sales.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is to speak at an event in Oklahoma.

Tuesday, February 28

New Zealand is to release trade data and a report on business confidence.

The U.S. is to release revised data on fourth quarter growth and a report on consumer confidence.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are to speak.

Also Tuesday, President Donald Trump will make his first major address to Congress.

Wednesday, March 1

Australia is to release data on fourth quarter growth.

China is to release official data on manufacturing and service sector activity as well as the Caixin manufacturing index.

In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary inflation data and a report on unemployment change.

The U.K. is to release its manufacturing index and a report on bank lending.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

The Institute of Supply Management is to report on manufacturing activity.

Dallas Fed head Kaplan and Fed Governor Lael Brainard are scheduled to speak.

Thursday, March 2

Australia is to produce data on building approvals and trade.

The U.K. is to report on construction sector output.

The euro zone is to release preliminary data on inflation.

Canada is to release its monthly report on GDP.

The U.S. is to report on initial jobless claims and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is to speak.

Friday, March 3

Japan is to release data on inflation and household spending.

Germany is to publish figures on retail sales.

The U.K. is to report on service sector activity.

The ISM is to report on service sector activity.

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer will deliver remarks and Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to speak at an event in Chicago.

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