Brent crude jumps $5/bbl after output cuts; stocks rise

April 04, 2023 07:37 AM AEST | By Reuters
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By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude oil climbed $5 a barrel on Monday after Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ producers announced new production cuts, and gains in energy shares helped lift world stock indexes.

The Dow and S&P 500 ended higher, with the S&P energy sector rising 4.9% for its biggest daily percentage gain since October.

In a surprise move, the OPEC+ group on Sunday announced cuts to production amounting to about 1.16 million barrels per day.

Brent crude rose $5.04, or 6.3%, to settle at $84.93 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude climbed $4.75, or 6.3%, to settle at $80.42.

While the jump in oil prices benefited energy shares, the news added to investor worries about higher costs for businesses and consumers.

Market watchers have been trying to gauge how much longer the Federal Reserve may need to keep raising interest rates to cool inflation and whether the U.S. economy may be headed for recession.

Goldman Sachs lifted its forecast for Brent to $95 a barrel by the end of the year and to $100 for 2024 following the oil output change.

Investors also digested Monday's economic data, which showed U.S. manufacturing activity in March slumped to its lowest level in nearly three years as new orders continued to contract.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 327 points, or 0.98%, to 33,601.15, the S&P 500 gained 15.2 points, or 0.37%, to 4,124.51 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 32.45 points, or 0.27%, to 12,189.45.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.03% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.42%.

"There's going to be this balance between inflation coming off and then the potential for economic recession," said George Cipolloni, portfolio manager at Penn Mutual Asset Management.

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp ended 5.9% higher on Monday, while Chevron Corp gained 4.2%.

At the same time, U.S. consumer discretionary shares fell, with the sector ending the day down 0.9%.

Shares of Tesla Inc dropped 6.1% after disclosing March-quarter deliveries rose just 4% from the previous quarter, even after CEO Elon Musk slashed car prices in January to boost demand.

The dollar declined, giving up early gains following the oil output cuts, as data showed the U.S. economy continued to slow with the declines in manufacturing and construction spending.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing PMI fell to 46.3 last month, the lowest since May 2020, from 47.7 in February.

U.S. construction spending also weakened, down 0.1% in February after increasing 0.4% in January.

The U.S. dollar index was last down 0.9% while the euro was up 0.6% at $1.0902.

Treasury yields retreated after the U.S. manufacturing data, which increased expectations for some investors the Fed will cut rates later this year as the economy slows.

The yield on 10-year notes fell 6.6 basis points to 3.425%.

Spot gold added 0.8% to $1,983.98 an ounce.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch, with additional reporting by Herbert Lash in New York and Ankika Biswas and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru, and Wayne Cole in Sydney and Alun John in London; Editing by Susan Fenton, Angus MacSwan, Andrew Heavens and Bill Berkrot)


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