Good morning! Here are the 10 most important things in markets on Friday.
The US House Passed A Major Funding Bill To Keep The Government Running. The US House of Representatives passed a $US1.1 trillion spending bill late Thursday to fund most federal agencies through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. The Department of Homeland Security will be funded only through February to give Republicans a chance early next year to try to stop President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms.
Oil Prices Keep On Tumbling. WTI Crude, one of the two major international benchmarks for oil prices, fell to as low as $US59.05 per barrel, the lowest level since July 2009.
IEA Says Oil Demand Is Tanking. The International Energy Agency cut its outlook for oil demand and warned that excess supply would continue to put pressure on prices. “The agency, which coordinates energy policies of industrialized countries, cut its outlook for global oil demand growth for 2015 by 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 0.9 million bpd on expectations for lower fuel consumption in Russia and other oil-exporting countries,” Reuters’ Dmitry Zhdannikov and Christopher Johnson reported. “The IEA said it was too early to expect low oil prices to start seriously curtailing North American supply boom.”
Halliburton Slashed 1,000 Jobs. Halliburton, the world’s second-biggest oil services company, said Thursday it was slashing 1,000 jobs in its eastern hemisphere offices amid tumbling global oil prices. The layoffs, which are effective immediately, represent 1.25% of Halliburton’s 80,000-person workforce.
Mexico Is Opening Its Oil Sector To Foreign Investors For The First Time. Mexico unveiled rules Thursday for the first phase of its historic opening of the oil sector to foreign investors, pledging transparent auctions in July for 14 shallow-water fields.
China’s Industrial Output Fell Below Expectations. China’s industrial output rose by a less-than-expected 7.2% in November from a year earlier, though retail sales expanded 11.7%, beating forecasts, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday.
European Industrial Production Is Coming. Eurozone industrial production figures were not pretty. Output rose by only 0.1% from September to October, and 0.7% year-on-year. Analysts were expecting a 0.2% increase on the month, and a 0.6% increase from October last year. “Production came in lower than consensus expected, but it was not as bad as we feared following the disappointing numbers from France,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen said. “The most important point in today’s report is really the big drag from the energy sector.”
Markets Are Down. Europe is sharply lower, with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 1.4%, France’s CAC 40 down 1.5%, and Germany’s DAX down 1.1%. Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.66% in the last session before Sunday’s general election in Japan. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2%. US futures are down, with Dow futures down 87 points and S&P futures down 8.4 points.
Inflation Check. At 8:30 a.m. ET, we’ll get the November producer price index report. Economists estimate producer prices in November fell 0.1% month-over-month, or increased by just 1.4% year-over-year. Excluding food and energy, core prices are estimated to have climbed by 0.1% and 1.8%, respectively. “The PPI survey for petroleum products is in the first half of the month, so this month’s report probably won’t pick up a steep further drop in gasoline prices after mid-November,” Morgan Stanley’s Ted Wieseman said. “So we see energy prices falling a relatively modest 0.7%. Farm price figures showed upside in fruits and vegetables but pointed to a pullback in meat after a surge last month and showed weak dairy prices, so we forecast a 0.4% drop in food after a 1.0% gain in October. A partial reversal in the volatile trade services component after a 1.5% jump in October should also weigh on the headline PPI.”
Commerzbank Is Nearing A $US1 Billion US Settlement. Germany’s Commerzbank has nearly reached a $US1 billion settlement agreement with US authorities over allegations that it broke anti-money-laundering rules and defied international sanctions, according to the Financial Times.
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