Crude oil prices rallied over 3% in today’s session as Brent front month futures surged towards $50 per barrel, while WTI front month futures also climbed above $48 per barrel. In London, energy stocks posted strong gains as BG Group, Tullow Oil and Royal Dutch Shell surged between 1.3% and 3.6%. BP rallied over 4.6% as US judges capped fines associated with the spill of Gulf of Mexico in 2010 at $13.7 bln, below the initial $18 bln target. However, a trial begins next week to determine the final penalty.
Global equity markets climbed higher during the last trading session of the week, supported by better than expected economic data and a strong uptrend in the oil market, which spread optimism and increased risk appetite. The CAC, DAX, IBEX and London equity benchmark index gained between 0.6% and 1.4%, while in the US at the time of writing the Dow Jones edged higher and traded in positive territory.
On the macroeconomic front, the University of Michigan survey showed economic sentiment increased to 98.2 in January, against analysts’ expectations of 94.1, while current conditions rose to 108.3 in January from 104.8 in December. However, industrial production fell 0.1% in December in line with analysts’ estimates.
Base metals prices rebounded and copper edged higher towards $5,700 while aluminium rallied above $1,800. In precious metals, gold continued its strong uptrend, eyeing the key $1,300 level after trading 0.8% up on the day and silver surged above $17.50.