Here is what you need to know.
OPEC says it will be a long time before we see $100 oil. In an in-depth report, OPEC says oil won’t reach $100 per barrel again until 2040. However, the news isn’t all bad for oil producing countries as the cartel projects spending cuts will result in limited supply in the medium-term, causing the price of oil to slowly rise. “Reflecting on all of these considerations, the long-term value of the ORB in this Outlook is assumed to rise from more than $70/b in 2020 to $95/b in 2040 (both in 2014 dollars),” OPEC said in its report. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is little changed near $37.50 per barrel.
Saudi Arabia wants to reduce its dependency on oil. Saudi King Salman said the kingdom must reduce its dependency on oil. “Our vision for economic reform is to increase the efficiency of public spending, utilise economic resources and boost returns from state investment,” he said in an address to the Shura Council. According to AFP, 90% of Saudi Arabia’s revenue comes from oil. The drop in oil prices has weighed heavily on the Saudi economy, which is expected to see a record budget deficit of $130 billion for 2015, the IMF says.
Japan approved a record-high budget for 2016 (The Japan Times)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has approved a record-high ¥96.72 trillion budget for fiscal 2016. According to The Japan Times, “The budget highlights Abe’s new three “arrows” under his Abenomics” policy package, including expanding nominal GDP by 20 per cent from the current level to ¥600 trillion by around 2020 and raising the fertility rate from 1.4 to 1.8 by around 2025.” About 40% of policy spending, or ¥31.97 trillion, will go towards social security. In addition, a record ¥5.05 trillion will be allocated to defence as the government looks to fend off Chinese aggression in the region. The Japanese yen is stronger by 0.5% at 120.36 per dollar.
It’s been a rough year for Manhattan’s luxury home market. Prices of the most expensive homes in Manhattan have fallen for nine straight months. Bloomberg cites StreetEasy, who says median prices for the top 20% of the market fell 2.2% year-over-year in October to $3.59 million. The slide comes after February’s median price of $3.72 million was the highest on record.
BNP Paribas is taking a write down of almost $1 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, the French bank will write down some of the goodwill of its Italian lender BNL. The approximately €900 million ($983.2 million) writedown will impact BNP’s fourth quarter results, and comes as the unit must meet tighter regulatory requirements. The bank’s tier 1 capital is above the minimum 10% threshold, standing at 10.9%, the WSJ reports.
Bridgestone is considering a new bid for Pep Boys. Tire maker Bridgestone is considering upping its bid for Pep Boys after activist investor Carl Icahn said he would match any offer by the company and increase it by 10 cents, going as high as $18.10 per share, Bloomberg reports. “We are currently evaluating our options in light of recent developments,” Paul Oakley, a spokesman for Bridgestone’s U.S. unit, said in a statement. Bridgestone has until Friday at 7 a.m. Tokyo time to respond.
The Nasdaq is delisting KaloBios. The company says it will be delisted at the Nasdaq under the exchange’s “discretionary” authority, according to Reuters. KaloBios has been under scrutiny as of late thanks to the arrest and criminal indictment of former CEO Martin Shkreli and the company’s outside counsel, Evan Greebel. The stock, which was trading under the ticker “KBIO,” has not traded since last Thursday, when it closed at $23.59 per share.
Markets in the US will close early. US equities will stop trading at 1 p.m. ET and the US Treasury market will close at 2 p.m. ET.
Stocks around the world are mixed. Overnight, Australia’s ASX (+1.3%) led and China’s Shanghai Composite (-0.78%) lagged. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE (+0.2%) holds small gains amid a quiet holiday trade. Markets across much of Europe are closed in observance of Christmas Eve. S&P 500 futures are unchanged at 2052.75.
US economic data is light. Initial and continuing claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET and natural gas inventories will cross the wires at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is little changed near 2.25%.
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