Oil prices started the week with fresh losses, as fears over global oversupply deepens; after a surprising U.S. rig count rise this week by 17 to 541, which shows that U.S. shale producers are determined to continue pumping even amid such low prices. Also spooking further worries, Iran is expected to pump more oil once nuclear-related sanctions are lifted, and a recent signing of a peace deal between warring sides in Libya raised possibilities about Libya coming back to its previous production volumes before the infighting. Brent crude futures tumbled to a new 7-year low at $36.35 a barrel, down 53 cents, or 1.44%. U.S. crude futures lost 20 cents, or 0.58% to $34.53 per barrel.
Asian shares recorded mixed results, with Japan's Nikkei diving 1.00% to a week-low. China's CSI300 index for the biggest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen jumped 2.25% on the other hand. Australia's S&P\ASX 200 index eased 0.05%, while Korea's KOSPI edged up 0.19%. India's Nifty advanced 0.47%.
Wall Street closed Friday with deep wounds, locking in a second consecutive week of losses. Dow Jones plunged 367 points, or 2.10% to 17,128, down 0.79% for the week. NASDAQ gave up 80 points, or 1.59% to 4,923, with a 0.21% weekly loss. S&P 500 dove 36 points, or 1.78%, down 0.34% for the week.
Yen gave up some of its massive gains that were reaped after BoJ lefts its policy targets unchanged last week. It edged down 0.14% against the dollar to 121.31. Euro ticked up 0.05% against the Japanese currency to 131.86. Yen retreated 0.27% against sterling to 180.96.
Gold futures gained 3 dollars, or 0.30% to $1,068 an ounce, while Silver futures added 4 cents, or 0.28% to $14.13 an ounce. Copper backed off 0.10% to $2.107 a pound.
Due to be released today, German Producer Price Index for November, forecast to have fallen 0.2% m\m, extending October's decline of 0.4%. A higher inflation for the index is positive for the currency.
For the whole of the Eurozone, a consumer confidence survey for December is expected at -5.9, same as November; a result lower than zero indicates pessimism, higher than zero indicates optimism.