Crude oil prices came under renewed pressure today as OPEC cut its oil price forecasts at its annual world oil outlook published this afternoon. OPEC reported there would be “a small decline in real values” over this decade along with a “constant nominal price of $110 per barrel” between now and 2020. Brent front month futures plunged towards $82 per barrel, while WTI front month futures retreated towards $77 per barrel, verifying the recent downside momentum in the market.
On the macroeconomic front, The European Central Bank and Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged, as expected. Germany’s factory orders rose slightly by 0.8% in September missing analysts’ expectations of 2.3%, while Germany’s Markit construction PMI increased to 51.5 in October from 50.0 in September.
In the UK, industrial and manufacturing production increased by 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively, both beating analysts’ estimates. Halifax house prices fell unexpectedly by 0.4% m/m in October against Bloomberg analysts’ estimates of a solid 0.4% rise following an increase of 0.6% in September.
In the US, Challenger job cuts rose by 11.9% in October compared to a drop of 24.4% in September, while weekly jobless claims increased 278,000 against estimates of 285,000. However, all eyes are on the US non-farm payroll figures tomorrow which could provide further signs about the US employment conditions.
European equity markets fluctuated strongly in today’s session following mixed economic data. The CAC, DAX, IBEX and London equity benchmark finally ended the session posting solid gains between 0.15% and 0.65%, while the euro shrunk below 1.24 against the US dollar, raising renewed concerns about Eurozone’s economic stability and prospects.