Crude oil price rebounds to 70.2 in European morning as strong China PMI eases demand worries. Trading will likely remain thin before NY session opens. The US government will report ISM manufacturing data today. After market close, the American Petroleum Institute will report its estimates on oil inventory last week and this will act a guideline in forecasting the figures by the US Energy Department.
Stock markets in Europe drop. UK’s FTSE 100 Index slides -1.4% to 4843 while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lose -1.6% and -1% respectively. UK’s manufacturing PMI slipped to 49.7 in August after rising to 50.2 in the prior month. This disappointed the market as consensus forecast was a further gain to 51.5.
In the Eurozone, unemployment rate rose to 9.5% in August from 9.4% a month ago. Although the reading came out as expected, it’s indeed the highest level in 10 years, suggesting the 16-nation region’ s job market remained weak.
Earlier in Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained +0.5% as led by rises in technology and mining shares. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index added +0.6% to 2684 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rebounded +0.75% to 19872. Sinopec Shanghai Petroleum, a subsidiary of Sinopec and one of the largest refining and chemical companies in China, got hammered as the company’s margin will be negatively affected as the Chinese government delays fuel-price adjustment. Compared with its Sinopec, Sinopec Shanghai Petroleum is more exposed to the pricing system as it does not have any other business streams, such as exploration, other than refinery.
In early May, NDRC unveiled more details about the new oil pricing mechanism introduced in the beginning of 2009. Under the new policy, NDRC may adjust domestic oil product prices when the moving average of ‘international crude oil prices’ (Brent, Dubai and Cinta) change more than 4% of a period of 22 working days. However, news said that the government may now reduce the frequency of price adjustment so that fuel prices will be more affordable for consumers.
The RBA decided to keep its cash rate unchanged at 3% in September and said that the ‘the present accommodative setting of monetary policy remains appropriate for the time being’. In the accompanying statement, the central bank maintained its neutral bias on monetary policy as in August although it acknowledged improvement in economic outlook. This was slightly disappointing as the market had priced in a more hawkish bias.
The Australian dollar plunges to -0.8% to 0.836 against the dollar as the RBA announcement signaled that speculations on rate hike in October/November are premature. Other higher yield currencies also slide against the greenback.
Gold price trade within a narrow range but with a soft tone amid renewed strength in USD. Silver price also slips to 14.65.