Oil tumbles on supply glut; Wall Street up on G-20 comments

US crude fell 1.69 per cent to US$50.58 (S$69.51) per barrel and Brent was last at US$58.68, down 1.39 per cent on the day.
US crude fell 1.69 per cent to US$50.58 (S$69.51) per barrel and Brent was last at US$58.68, down 1.39 per cent on the day.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Oil prices retreated on Friday (Nov 30) amid a global glut, racking up a 20 per cent drop for November, while world equity markets were mixed ahead of weekend talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

US shares, however, turned positive midday after a Chinese official said at the Group of 20 industrialised nations summit in Argentina that the United States and China were making progress on trade talks.

"Consensus is steadily increasing," Wang Xiaolong, director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's department of international economic affairs, told Reuters on the sidelines of the summit.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted their biggest weekly percentage gains in nearly seven years on trade hopes and after the US Federal Reserve hinted this week at a more dovish approach to interest rate hikes.

In Europe, Frankfurt's DAX had its worst run since late 2008, weighed by Deutsche Bank shares falling to an all-time low as police searched the bank's headquarters for a second day in a money laundering scandal linked to the Panama Papers.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.10 per cent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.17 per cent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199.62 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 25,538.46, the S&P 500 gained 22.4 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 2,760.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 57.45 points, or 0.79 percent, to 7,330.54.

November's real humdingers have been oil and shares of Apple Inc, which have plunged 21 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, the biggest declines for both since the financial crisis a decade ago.

Swelling oil inventories depressed sentiment and oil prices, despite widespread expectations that OPEC and Russia would agree on some form of production cut next week. OPEC and its allies are meeting in Vienna next week to discuss oil output.

US crude fell 1.69 per cent to US$50.58 (S$69.51) per barrel and Brent was last at US$58.68, down 1.39 per cent on the day.

Markets could have a wild December if Trump and Xi fail to de-escalate their trade rhetoric during talks at this weekend's G20 meeting in Argentina.

"The three key issues that people are really focusing on are how dovish is the Fed going to be going forward, how are trade relations with China going to play out, and what's going on in the oil markets," said Charlie Ripley, senior market strategist for Allianz Investment Management in Minneapolis.

"But as we get better news, that's helped lift the markets,"Ripley added. "That's why we're seeing a week like this week."

Trump pointed to positive signs in trade talks, saying on Friday, "We're working very hard. If we could make a deal, that would be good. I think they want to. I think we'd like to." Still, the dollar rose as investors prepared for fallout from the talks, which are expected to increase volatility across markets.

The dollar index, tracking the greenback against six major currencies, rose 0.46 per cent, with the euro down 0.66 per cent to US$1.1316.