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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wall Street Update: Stocks hit as oil price's decline continues



Wall Street Update

 I doubt today will be of much to celebrate for Bursa Malaysia as Wall Street closed lower, as further falls in the oil price dragged down energy stocks.


oil price decline continue as concern over weak economic data from China and oversupply in oil


U.S. crude futures closed nearly 6 percent on Monday as weak economic data from China, the world's largest energy consumer, reversed a four-day rally from last week and an OPEC source undermined chances of an emergency meeting to stem the decline. The oil price slide as concerns of oversupply were exacerbated by news that Iraq's output reached a record high last month. 

Brent April crude futures were down $1.79, or 4.9 percent, at $34.20 a barrel, and had dipped as low as $33.92. The March Brent contract, which expired on Friday, settled at $34.74 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate settled down $2, or 5.95 percent, at $31.62 a barrel. It hit a low of $31.29 earlier in the session. 


China's manufacturing sector contracted at the fastest pace since 2012 in January, adding to worries about demand from the world's second-biggest economy at a time when the market is already weighed down by a large supply overhang. 

The Dow Jones fell 208 points, or 1.3%, at 15885.22, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes both lost 1.6% to 1906.90 and 4,518.49 respectively.

All three main Wall Street indexes rose on Thursday and Friday, marking their first gains so far for the year. 

Oil and gas companies took heavy losses. Devon Energy sank 7 percent and Murphy Oil lost 6 percent.

Not all the news was bad. Aetna jumped 2 percent after reporting solid earnings.


Wedbush Securities managing director of equity trading Michael James said the market volatility was directly linked to the fluctuations in the oil price.


"Better oil markets Thursday and Friday led to better equity markets. A $2 retracement in oil today, it's not surprising to see a retracement in the equity indices," he said.


Given how Wall Street had dropped yesterday, let's hope Malaysia's Bursa can weather the storm, especially since oil price has a higher correlation with the country's economy in general.

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