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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

EconomyDec 07, 2018 06:21
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© Reuters. - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, December 7:

1. Crude Oil Prices Slump as OPEC Fails to Reach a Deal

Oil prices continued to fall on Friday, as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) struggled to come up with an agreement on cutting oil production.

West Texas Crude oil futures for January slumped 0.43% to $51.27 a barrel, while Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rallied 0.17% to $60.16.

The Thursday session of the OPEC meeting in Vienna ended without any decision on cutting oil supply, as Iran seeks an exemption from any cuts due to U.S. sanctions which have already weighed on its exports.

The weekly U.S. Baker Hughes oil rig count, which is a leading indicator of demand for oil products, comes out later in the session.

2. Wall Street Remains Cautious

A holiday rally seems unlikely for Wall Street, as trade concerns and a fall in oil prices pushed futures lower.

Wall Street looked set to open lower, with the S&P 500 futures down 0.31% while Dow futures lost 0.33% and tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures decreased 0.37%.

The Dow and S&P 500 ended in the red on Thursday, nearly erasing yearly gains.

Trading in Europe was higher, with the DAX, FTSE 100 and CAC 40 all in the green.

Meanwhile in Asia, stocks were mixed at the close. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng fell 0.35% and the China A50 Index decreased 0.10%. The Shanghai Composite inched up 0.03% while in Japan, the TOPIX rose 0.61% and the Nikkei 225 gained 0.82%.

Read more: Regardless Of What OPEC Decides, Saudi Influence Is Waning By The Day: Barani Krishnan

3. Cryptos Fall 90% from Record Highs

Cryptocurrency prices slumped on Friday, with nearly all major digital coins down at least 90% from their all-time highs.

Virtual currencies have fallen dramatically in recent weeks, with news of regulatory scrutiny and a hard fork in Bitcoin cash cited as major headwinds for the crypto industry.

Cryptocurrencies overall were lower, with the total coin market capitalization at $107 billion at the time of writing, compared to $120 billion on Thursday. Bitcoin was down 12%, trading near a session low of $3,377.40.

Meanwhile the creation of a Bitcoin exchange traded fund is unlikely anytime soon, said SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who dissented with the authority’s decision to reject a Bitcoin ETF.

“Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to [establish] Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange traded product,” she said.

4. Jobs Report on Tap

The anticipated monthly jobs report is set for release at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT).

Nonfarm payrolls for November are expected to decline to 200,000 from 250,000 the prior month, while the unemployment rate is expected to stay steady at 3.7%. Average hourly earnings are forecast to increase slightly at 0.3%.

Meanwhile, Michigan consumer sentiment index is released at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT).

5. U.S. Dollar Nears Biggest Weekly Drop in Two Months

The U.S. dollar was lower on Friday amid worry that the Federal Reserve could pause its hike rate increases due to concerns of slowing global growth.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Fed is likely to consider a wait-and-see approach after hiking rate increases at its next meeting in December.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, inched up 0.10% to 96.85. However, on a weekly basis, the dollar was set for its biggest drop in more than two months against a basket of its rivals.

Falling U.S. yields have also weighed on the dollar, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield at 2.886 after dipping overnight to its lowest level since late August.

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

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