Crude Oil Reverses from 3-Week High

Analisi Giornaliera - 20/10/2017

Investors Book Profits Following Recent Rally


Oil futures finished lower on Thursday, retreating after four-straight sessions of gains that boosted prices to their highest levels in almost three weeks. Analysts attributed last session’s drop to a bout of profit-booking after prices rallied on heightened geopolitical tensions in Iraq and a near 11.00% decline in US oil output in the lower 48-states.

US Crude Futures at Key Technical Standpoint

The latest face-off between the Iraqi central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region has lifted crude prices in recent sessions. Kurdistan had almost unanimously voted to form a separate independent state in a controversial referendum held late in September. The region exports almost 600,000 barrels of oil per day, with the prospect of unrest raising the spectre of supply disruptions. On the production front, investors will focus on how OPEC deals with growing output from Nigeria and Libya. These two suppliers could pose a setback for the efforts made by the rest of the oil cartel, with investors hoping that OPEC will request production cuts to continue reducing global stockpiles. US crude futures were last seen around $51.52 a barrel, with charts revealing $51.00 per barrel as the key support zone. Any dip below could see the short-term trend turn bearish.


Apple Stock Suffers Worst Day in 2-Months

Investor worries over slack demand for the Apple iPhone 8 sent shares of the tech giant down -2.50% on Thursday. The stock of the world's largest company by market capitalization notched its worst session in over two months as apprehensions about its double 2017 iPhone release strategy soured Wall Street sentiment. Shares of Apple were also under pressure following a report of an Apple Watch snag in China. The Wall Street Journal ran a story on Wednesday that said the new Apple Watch’s cellular connection feature was abruptly shut down in China amidst security concerns surrounding the watch’s tracking feature. Apple’s stock fell $3.78, or -2.50%, the biggest decline since August 10th, shaving 26 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average and nearly keeping the equity benchmark from turning positive.


UK Retail Sales Witness Sharp Drop

Rising prices squeezing household budgets prompted a bigger than expected contraction in UK retail sales in September according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday. Sales volumes declined -0.80% last month, reversing a jump in August and undershooting the consensus estimate of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal who had predicted no change in the figure. The dip was primarily driven by a fall in sales of non-essential items such as souvenirs, spectacles, collectables and weapons. Overall, third-quarter retail sales growth slowed to its lowest year-on-year pace since the second quarter of 2013, a worrying sign for the domestic-driven British economy. The Pound tumbled to a one-week low of $1.3131 following the release of data on Thursday as rate futures slashed the odds of interest rate tightening in 2018.


Tourist Arrivals in New Zealand Remain Strong

An increase in inflows from Australia, China and Korea saw tourist arrivals in New Zealand edge 3.10% higher year-on-year to 252,700 in September compared to a 5.80% rise recorded a month earlier. Annual arrivals during the year ended September 30th hit 3.68 million, up 9.00% from the year-ago period. That was driven by a 5.90% jump in visitors from Australia to 1.47 million, while Chinese tourists grew at an annual 0.60% to 407,700. New Zealanders continued to remain keen travellers, departing on 2.79 million overseas tours in the year to September, up 253,000 from a year earlier. Tourism accounts for almost 8.00% of New Zealand’s economy, employing close to 6.00% of its entire workforce. The New Zealand dollar found bottom after a tremendous slide on the heels of the Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern cobbling together a coalition.  The NZDJPY pair is holding ground just above key support at 78.800.


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