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6 months ago
GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil slumps on supply worry, sterling hurt by May comments
January 9, 2017 / 5:21 PM / 6 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil slumps on supply worry, sterling hurt by May comments

4 Min Read

(Recasts, adds comment, updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

* Oil slumps 2 pct on signs U.S. output growing

* DJIA down, moves away from 20,000 mark

* U.S. Treasury yields fall as risk appetite fades

* Tough EU talk from UK's May boosts global bond prices

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday on signs growing U.S. output could undermine plans by other producers to cut supply, while sterling slumped following comments by British Prime Minister Theresa May alluding to an aggressive exit from the European Union.

Sterling was the big mover on currency markets, falling 1 percent against the dollar and the euro to more than two-month lows after the remarks by May, who said she was willing to sacrifice the country's single-market membership for more control over its borders.

U.S. Treasury yields retreated in line with British bond yields after May's comments.

Meanwhile, the drop in oil prices weighed on energy stocks on Wall Street as the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved further from hitting the historic and widely awaited 20,000 mark.

"We see the optimism surrounding OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts being counterbalanced by fears of higher U.S. crude production as the higher rig count of last Friday still weighs," said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro.

In late morning trading, Brent crude was last down $1.46, or 2.56 percent, at $55.64 a barrel. U.S. crude was last down $1.39, or 2.57 percent, at $52.6 per barrel.

In the U.S. equity market, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.63 points, or 0.21 percent, to 19,921.17, while the S&P 500 was down 4.01 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,272.97.

A gain in technology stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite by 7.39 points, or 0.13 percent, to 5,528.44.

"The market is building drama around 20,000 and if and when we get promising earnings reports, the Dow will go through the point like a hot knife through butter," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey."

U.S. government bond prices rose, with the 10-year note up 8/32 in price to yield 2.386 percent, compared with 2.418 percent late on Friday.

In line with U.S. Treasuries, German 10-year yields , the benchmark for euro zone borrowing costs, fell and last stood at 0.28 percent.

Analysts said a soft dollar weighed on U.S. Treasuries yields as well. The dollar slid against the safe-haven yen as risk appetite declined, while sterling sank to more than two-month lows after May's remarks.

"Anything that suggests a hard Brexit is more likely ... is very damaging to UK growth prospects," said Richard Franulovich, a senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp in New York.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, fell 0.16 points or 0.16 percent, to 102.06. The greenback also fell 0.4 percent against the yen to 116.40.

In Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1 points or 0.25 percent, to 438.77. Australia's S&P/ASX200 rose 0.9 percent while Hong Kong shares rose 0.2 percent.

Trading was light because Japan was shut for a holiday.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, fell 0.88 points or 0.2 percent, to 428.8.

A focus for the week will be a news conference on Wednesday at which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may give more details about the policies he will seek to implement after he takes office on Jan. 20.

Expectations of more economic stimulus from a Trump administration have helped to boost U.S. stocks and bond yields.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Nigel Stephenson, Karolin Schaps in LONDON, Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru, Sam Forgione and Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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