Sunday, August 19, 2018

© Reuters.  Top 5 things to know today in financial markets© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets

Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, November 6:

1. Saudi Weekend Purge Widens as MBS Tightens Grip on Power

An anti-corruption probe that has purged Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen appeared to be widening on Monday after the founder of one of the kingdom’s biggest travel companies was reportedly detained.

Shares in Al-Tayyar Travel (SE:1810) plunged 10% in the opening minutes of trade after the company quoted media reports as saying Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar, who is still a board member, had been held by authorities.

Dozens of people had been detained over the weekend in an investigation by a new anti-corruption body headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, as he consolidates his power while alarming much of the traditional business establishment.

Among those detained are 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers, according to Saudi officials. Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Saudi Arabia’s best-known international investor, was among those being held, officials said at the weekend.

Analysts said the arrests were also a pre-emptive measure by the crown prince to remove powerful figures as he seeks to reshape the economy and society of the world’s leading oil exporter.

2. Oil Jumps to Highest Level Since 2015

Oil prices jumped to their highest levels since July 2015, supported by ongoing signs of tightening market conditions as well as hopes that OPEC will extend their output-cut deal at their meeting at the end of this month.

Prices received another boost as a sizable weekly drop in active U.S. oil rigs to the lowest level since May fed expectations for a slowdown in domestic crude output growth.

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose to an intraday peak of $62.90 a barrel, its best level since July 2015, before pulling back to $62.30 in early trade, up 23 cents, or around 0.4%.

Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures tacked on 20 cents, or about 0.4%, to $55.84 a barrel, after hitting $56.24, its highest in more than two years.

3. Global Stock Markets Step Back from Recent Highs

World shares started the week on a downbeat note, stepping back from their latest in a run of record highs.

Asian-Pacific markets pulled back from recent decade highs, as investors digested earnings reports and U.S. President Donald Trump’s tour of the region got underway.

In his second day in Japan, Trump ramped up his tough rhetoric against North Korea, saying the United States and its allies are prepared to defend freedom. The president will also visit South Korea, China, Vietnam and Philippines during his trip.

In Europe, bourses edged lower after a recent run of strong gains, as some earnings disappointments took the shine off early deals.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks pointed to a slightly lower open, as investors looked to key earnings reports to set the tone for the markets. Wall Street’s three major indexes closed at record highs on Friday.

CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) Sysco (NYSE:SYY) are a few of the names posting results ahead of the opening bell. After the close, Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW), Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) are set to release earnings.

4. Dollar Pauses After Biggest Weekly Rise of 2017

The dollar was little changed to start the week, as investors took profits on its best weekly performance this year, with wariness about the status of the U.S. economy and tax reform plans setting the tone.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 94.85.

Data on Friday showed that the U.S. economy added fewer jobs in October than expected, but the unemployment rate ticked down to its lowest level since December 2000.

The ISM services index, meanwhile, rose to a 12-year high in October, while another report showed that new orders for U.S. made goods rose for the second straight month in September.

The mostly upbeat data underlined the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace in the coming months.

5. U.S. Tax Plan Progress

Investors will continue to monitor the progress of the U.S. tax reform bill in what will be a relatively quiet week for economic data.

The tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee will on Monday begin considering revisions to the tax bill released last week, which would constitute the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax system since the 1980s.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday that Republican lawmakers are weighing a “host of ideas”, though he expects the broad outlines to remain the same.

Ryan said he believes the House is still on track to vote on a revised tax bill before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 23.

Some traders believe tax reforms could bolster growth, adding pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, known as the “Trumpflation” trade.

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