Asia’s stock rally set to pause for breath ahead of U.S. jobs data By Reuters



© Reuters. Investors look at screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai

By David Henry

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks were set to hold tight ranges on Friday after a mixed Wall Street session and as investors awaited key U.S. jobs data while sustained hopes about a global economic recovery kept pressure on the safe-haven dollar.

The week’s global equity rally lost some steam on Thursday as traders took winnings from seven days of gains, backing away ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data, which is expected to show further deterioration in the U.S. jobs market.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures lost 0.2% in early trading while {{178|Japan’s Ni () slipped 0.4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures () () lost 0.55%.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.14%.

The () fell 0.6%, with the euro () up 0.04% to $1.134.

“This market has gone up so far so fast there’s a lot of people saying, ‘I’m going to take a little profit,'” said Jim Paulson, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis.

MSCI (NYSE:)’s global stock index slipped 0.15% on Thursday, while the S&P 500 () lost 0.34% and the Nasdaq Composite () lost 0.69%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average () held a slender gain of 0.05% to 26,281.82.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () lost 0.72%.

Friday’s U.S. employment report is expected to show nonfarm payrolls fell in May by 8 million jobs after a record 20.54 million plunge in April, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

The U.S. unemployment rate is forecast to rocket to 19.8%, a post-World War Two record, from 14.7% in April.

Currency markets, however, showed continued confidence in the revival of the global economy, particularly after the European Central Bank pledged more support.

The euro jumped to a 12-week high against the dollar on Thursday after the ECB increased the size of emergency bond purchases by 600 billion euros ($674 billion) to 1.35 trillion euros, more than the 500 billion-euro increase analysts had expected.

The ECB also extended the program until at least June 2021 and pledged to reinvest returns in a reminder of how far some governments will go to support the economy.

“European policy makers have picked up the baton with respect to more policy stimulus – both monetary and fiscal. This is showing up more in currencies than it is in equities,” Ray Attrill, head of FX Strategy Markets at National Australia Bank (OTC:) wrote to clients on Friday morning.

Next week, the U.S. Federal Reserve holds its regular two-day policy meeting.

The dollar index, () which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, declined for the past two weeks through Thursday as risk sentiment improved on optimism that the worst of the economic downturn from the coronavirus has passed.

The Australian dollar rose 0.07% versus the greenback to $0.695. The , one of the best recent performers due to the increase in risk appetite, on Thursday reached as high as $0.6987, the strongest since Jan. 3.

Traders raising cash for riskier investments also sold for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, lifting the yield to 0.8251% from 0.761% the day before.

Oil prices were little changed in choppy trade as investors awaited a decision from top crude producers on whether to extend record output cuts. U.S. crude () recently fell 0.16% to $37.35 per barrel and Brent () was flat on the day.

added 0.2% to $1,713.09 an ounce.

Gold was up more than 1% for the day on Thursday as weakened equity markets lent some support to demand for the metal.



Gold Languishes in Lower End of Range as Stocks Shrug off Jobless Data By Investing.com



© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — Gold prices edged higher on Thursday but stayed at the lower end of their recent range, as risk assets refused to give up most of the gains posted in a sharp three-day rally.

Demand for bullion was however supported by signs that the economic bounce-back from the Coronavirus pandemic is not proceeding smoothly, as continuing jobless claims rose by some 650,000 in the week through May 22, instead of declining as expected.

Initial jobless claims fell below 2 million last week for the first time since March, but remained stubbornly high at 1.88 million, suggesting that pressure on businesses across the country is still intense.

“The rate of decay of claims has slowed, disappointingly, and we think the first sub-1M reading won’t come until the first week of July,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a research note.

“By then, the cumulative increase in claims since the virus struck will be close to 50 million,” he added.

By 11:30 AM ET (1535 GMT), for delivery on the Comex exchange were up 0.8% at $1,718.05 a troy ounce, while was up 0.8% at $1,712.34.

Gold had closed at its lowest level in three weeks on Wednesday, only just above the optically important $1,700 level.

rebounded 0.5% to trade just above $18 an ounce again, while rose 0.5% to $864.95 an ounce.

underperformed, falling 2.7%, as the eagerly-anticipated fiscal stimulus package in Germany failed to include any incentives for buying new cars with internal combustion engines. Industrial demand for palladium comes almost exclusively from the auto sector.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank also lived up to expectations in increasing the size of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program – its first line of defense against Covid-driven market disruptions – by 600 billion euros ($672 billion) to 1.35 billion. It also extended the timeframe for bond purchases under the program to the middle of next year.

While that should extend the period of ultra-low returns on eurozone bonds and therefore support gold prices, it also – together with the German fiscal package – arguably gives a more solid footing to the recovery, which may lure European gold buyers back into riskier assets sooner than otherwise likely.

Retail investor support for gold still looks historically strong, however. According to the World Gold Council, gold-backed ETFs added 154 tons to their holdings in May thanks to net inflows of $8.5 billion. That boosted global holdings to a new all-time high of 3,510 tons.

“Year-to-date, inflows (623 tons, or $33.7 billion) now exceed the highest level of annual inflows (591t) seen in 2009,” WGC strategist John Reade wrote.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Brazil to publish formal jobs data on Wednesday after several months’ hiatus By Reuters




BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil will on Wednesday publish monthly formal jobs figures, known locally as the CAGED repot, for the first four months of this year, the Economy Ministry said on Tuesday.

The release of the January-April data follows a hiatus after the ministry said in March that publication had been halted because companies were having difficulties providing accurate and up-to-date information. CAGED is an acronym that refers to the general register of employed and unemployed people.

The last published CAGED figures were for December, which showed net job losses in the month but an increase of 644,079 over the course of 2019, the best year for job growth in Latin America’s largest economy since 2013.

The coronavirus crisis is likely to have had a heavy influence on March and April’s numbers.

The latest official figures show that the unemployment rate in the three months to March jumped to 12.2%, while formal unemployment insurance claims in the first two weeks of May were up 76.2% from the same period a year earlier.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S. Jobless-Claims Data Become Much Trickier as Economic Gauge By Bloomberg



© Reuters. U.S. Jobless-Claims Data Become Much Trickier as Economic Gauge

(Bloomberg) — For decades, the U.S. jobless-claims report has provided a straightforward, routine read on the labor market every Thursday. Now it carries a variety of asterisks.

Two sizable reporting errors in as many weeks have inflated the U.S. Labor Department’s nationwide jobless-claims count and the number of applicants under a federal emergency program. On top of that, the report has been beset by data quirks stemming from filing schedules that vary from state to state, as well as seasonal adjustments that have been rendered less useful because of the explosion in layoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.

While it’s not uncommon for claims to be revised, nor will the latest complications alter the bleak and sudden deterioration in the labor market, the errors come at a time when economists and policy makers are attempting to get the best-possible handle on the pandemic’s damage to the economy and the pace of recovery.

“It’s clear you cannot overemphasize or overfocus on any one week of a data point for a particular state given the volatility that we have, given the backlogs that a lot of these states have had to work through,” said Matthew Luzzetti, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:).

“As states begin to reopen, and as we’ve had this staggered reopening across different states, we will be looking at how that reopening is impacting the pace of improvement in claims,” Luzzetti said.

The latest report was marred by a data-entry error from the Massachusetts labor agency. An official from the state said in an email that it had 115,952 initial claims last week under the separate federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, not the 1,184,792 shown in the U.S. Labor Department’s report.

That means nationwide claims under that program — which expands unemployment benefits to those not traditionally eligible, such the self-employed and gig workers — were actually about half of the reported 2.23 million figure. The U.S. Labor Department said it will incorporate the correction into next week’s report.

What Bloomberg’s Economists Say

“Jobless claims should continue to trend down. The pace of declines has been stubbornly slow, but could accelerate given there are tentative signs of small employers rehiring as the economy reopens.”

— Carl Riccadonna, Yelena Shulyatyeva, Andrew Husby and Eliza Winger

Read more: Bloomberg Economics’s week-ahead preview

A week earlier, Connecticut corrected its count to show 29,846 new claims for the regular state program from a previously reported 298,680, explaining most of a 294,000 downward revision in the U.S. Labor Department’s adjusted figure for the week ended May 9.

Initial jobless claims for regular state programs totaled 2.44 million in the week ended May 16, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Since efforts to the contain Covid-19 pandemic rapidly shut down the economy in mid-March, about 38.6 million initial unemployment insurance claims have been filed under state programs. That’s roughly equivalent to all of the initial claims filed during the Great Recession, from December 2007 through June 2009.

Differences in how frequently people claim continued benefits in states is yet another reason why it’s become more difficult to get a precise read on week-to-week changes in the labor market at the state level. Economists are monitoring the number of Americans already on benefit rolls to gauge the breadth of the recovery in the labor market as states begin to reopen their economies.

Continuing Claims

These data are lagged by a week, and in the period ended May 9, the majority of states reported an unadjusted decline, a sign that reopenings are putting people back to work in many parts of the country. Yet, total continuing claims jumped an adjusted 2.5 million to a record 25.1 million. The increase was due largely to big unadjusted spikes in California and Florida, and the California rise owes in part to a biweekly filing cycle for aid recipients.

The enormous influx of claims has overwhelmed state unemployment offices. Florida, which has received more than 2 million total claims since March 15, has more than 200,000 filings in its queue awaiting verification. Backlogs have led to delays for millions of Americans across the country in receiving payments, as states scramble to keep up with the unprecedented number of claims.

Read more: Millions in U.S. Are On Edge, Waiting for Jobless Benefits

Errors and differing state reporting methods aside, some economists are looking to the raw numbers for a more accurate read on applications amid challenges with the federal agency’s seasonal adjustment process. On an non-seasonally adjusted basis, initial claims eased to 2.17 million last week from 2.36 million. Continuing claims on that basis totaled 22.9 million for the week ended May 9, up from 20.9 million.

“Given what’s going on is not part of any typical seasonal pattern or anything, I think the NSA data has given you probably a little bit better of a more accurate picture of what’s going on in the data,” Luzzetti said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



U.S. Business Activity Stabilizes in May, IHS Markit Data Show By Bloomberg



© Bloomberg. A worker operates a forklift to move crates of citrus fruits at the Premier Citrus LLC packing facility in Vero Beach, Florida, U.S. Photographer: Eve Edelheit/Bloomberg

U.S. business activity shrank less in May than a month earlier as the economy began to emerge from coronavirus-related lockdowns, though output remained markedly weak.

(Bloomberg) — The IHS Markit composite index of purchasing managers at manufacturers and service providers improved 9.4 points to 36.4, still the second-lowest in records back to 2009, the group reported Thursday. Readings below 50 indicate contraction, and the data are consistent with indexes for Europe, Japan and Australia that point to a worldwide recession.

IHS Markit composite measures of U.S. orders and employment advanced in May, while a gauge of export demand showed only modest improvement and indicated lingering weakness in the global economy.

“Encouragement comes from the survey indicating that the rate of economic collapse seems to have peaked in April,’’ Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement. “In the absence of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, the decline should moderate further in coming months as measures taken to contain the coronavirus are steadily lifted.’’

The IHS Markit gauge of services climbed to 36.9 this month from 26.7 in April, which was the lowest in records back to October 2009. The index of manufacturing rose to 39.8 from 36.1.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



First COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. shows promise in data from eight people By Reuters


2/2
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labeled with a “Vaccine COVID-19” sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration

2/2

By Julie Steenhuysen and Saumya Joseph

(Reuters) – Early data from Moderna (NASDAQ:) Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be tested in the United States, showed that it produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers, the company said on Monday.

The data comes from eight people who took part in a 45-subject safety trial that kicked off in March. The Moderna vaccine is one of more than 100 under development intended to protect against the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 4.7 million people globally and killed over 315,000.

Overall, the study showed the vaccine was safe and all study participants produced antibodies against the virus.

An analysis of the response in the eight individuals showed that those who received a 100 microgram dose and a 25 microgram dose had levels of protective antibodies to fend of the virus that exceeded those found in the blood of people who recovered from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The news, issued in a release by the U.S. biotechnology company, lifted shares of Moderna more than 22% and helped drive the broader stock market higher.

“These are significant findings but it is a Phase 1 clinical trial that only included eight people. It was designed for safety. Not for efficacy,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, in infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who was not involved in the study.

The very early data offers a glimmer of hope for a vaccine among the most advanced in development.

Adalja said many glitches can occur between now and the time this vaccine is tested for efficacy in thousands of people. “What we do see is encouraging,” he said.

Scientists are trying to understand what level of antibodies will ultimately prove protective against the novel coronavirus, and how long that protection will last.

Moderna said the vaccine appeared to show a dose response, meaning that people who the 100 mcg dose produced more antibodies than people who got the lower dose.

The vaccine has gotten the green light to start the second stage of human testing. Last week, U.S. regulators gave the vaccine “fast-track” status to speed up the regulatory review.

In the Phase II, or midstage, trial designed to further test effectiveness and find the optimal dose, Moderna said it will drop plans to test a 250 mcg dose and test a 50 mcg dose instead.

Reducing the dose required to produce immunity could help spare the amount of vaccine required in each shot, meaning the company could ultimately produce more of the vaccine.

MAXIMIZING NUMBER OF DOSES

“In the context of a pandemic, we expect demand to far outstrip supply and the lower the dose the more people we expect to be able to protect,” said Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks.

The U.S. government in April placed a big bet on Moderna, backing its vaccine with $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The company said that grant will enable it to supply millions of doses per month in 2020 and, with further investments, tens of million a month in 2021 if the vaccine proves successful.

In May, Moderna stuck a 10-year strategic collaboration with Lonza Group that over time will allow the manufacture of up to 1 billion doses a year.

“We are investing to scale up manufacturing so we can maximize the number of doses we can produce to help protect as many people as we can from SARS-CoV-2,” Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said, using the official name for the new virus.

Moderna said it expects to start a larger late-stage, or Phase III, trial in July.

There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19, and experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to develop.

The most notable side effects reported from the early testing of Moderna’s vaccine were three participants with “flu-like” symptoms following a second shot of the highest dose. The company said it believed the symptoms were an indirect measure of a strong immune response.



Crude Oil Higher; Chinese Industrial Production Data Helps By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – Oil prices pushed higher Friday, helped by signs consumption is recovering just as the major producers cut back on output, eating into the massive glut that caused a dramatic drop in prices.

AT 9:25 AM ET (1325 GMT), futures traded 3.8% higher at $28.61 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract rose 2.4% to $31.88. The U.S. benchmark is up around 16% over the week, while the Brent contract is up 6%. 

Prices had risen earlier on Friday, in reaction to data showing China’s industrial production rose 3.9% in April from a year ago, improving from a 1.1% fall in March. That’s a tentative sign that the powerful industrial base of the world’s largest importer of oil is recovering from the coronavirus hit.

The upward move also follows on from the International Energy Agency boosting its demand forecast for 2020 by 700,000 barrels a day on Thursday, saying that the outlook for global oil markets has “improved somewhat.”

At the same time, major producers have scaled back production sharply in the wake of the historic decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, commonly known as OPEC+, to cut output by 9.7 million barrels a day for May and June.

Data from the Energy Information Administration this week showed U.S. crude production dropped for a sixth straight week to the lowest in nearly a year, suggesting that the demand/supply balance is moving nearer to equilibrium and thus reducing the chance of negative prices at the next futures contract expiry. 

Senior banks now see upside in crude prices, with Barclays (LON:) predicting Brent to average $51 a barrel and WTI $50 next year, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:) looks for Brent at $45 and WTI at $42.

However, oil markets may not be out of the woods just yet.

U.S. retail sales slumped to their deepest monthly fall on record in April, falling by 16.4%, after a drop of 8.4% in March. That is considerably worse than the 12% fall expected by analysts and showed that U.S. consumers are still noticeable by their absence. Industrial production and manufacturing output were similarly weak.

Additionally, over 30 tankers laden with Saudi Arabian oil are set to arrive in the U.S. Gulf Coast and West Coast during May and June, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Spot Gold Hits 7-½ Year Highs as Dismal U.S. Data Triggers Safe Hedging By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – The stream of depressing U.S. data isn’t slowing. Neither is investors’ reinforced desire to hedge against it with gold.

The yellow metal pierced the key $1,750-per-ounce mark on Friday, sending bullion prices to 7-½ year highs and U.S. gold futures to a one-month peak after more dismal data on U.S. retail sales and industrial production.

“Gold continues to rise as grim milestones are reached with U.S. economic data,” said Ed Moya, analyst at New York-based online trading platform OANDA. 

“U.S. data for the month of April was disastrous, adding to fears of permanent damage to the economy. Along with escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, (these) should continue to support higher gold prices.”

, which tracks real-time trades in bullion, rose $13.62, or 0.8%, to $1,743.62 by 2:20 PM ET (18:20 GMT). It earlier surged to $1,751.54, its highest since December 2012. 

for June settled up 24.50, or 0.9%, at $1,756.30. It scaled $1,760.55 at the session highs, marking a peak since April 14.

For the week, both spot gold and futures gained nearly 3%.

U.S. data issued on Friday showed U.S. retail sales falling 16.4% and industrial production down 11.4% in April, the worst monthly performance ever for the two gauges, as the Covid-19 pandemic crippled the U.S. economy.

The U.S. economy shrank 4.8% in the first three months of 2020 for the sharpest economic decline since the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. While nearly all 50 states in America have reopened their economies in one way or another over the past two weeks, economists warn of a sharp recession by the second quarter, meaning more bleak data to come.

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday the economy was still in a freefall mode despite many businesses having resumed operations since lockdowns imposed over the Covid-19.

“We haven’t turned the corner yet on unemployment claims,” Kudlow told a Fox Business interview. “I was looking through the continuing claims and they look a little lighter or lower than people might have thought. But they’ve been in a pretty steady downtrend for the past six or seven weeks and they’re still bad numbers and they’re still heartbreak numbers, hardship numbers.”

“The pandemic’s contraction and Q2 is going to be very difficult,” he added, referring to the 36 million jobs lost over the past two months. 

Gold also got a shot in the arm from worsening U.S.-China relations. 

In a separate interview with Fox Business broadcast on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the disease and that the pandemic had cast a pall over his January trade deal with Beijing, which he has previously hailed as a major achievement.

Trump, who seeks reelection in November and has been sharply criticized for his own handling of the pandemic, said he has no interest in speaking to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to fix ties, suggesting that he might even sever relations with the world’s second-largest economy.



Foreign selling of U.S. Treasuries hit record high in March: data By Reuters



NEW YORK (Reuters) – Foreign investors sold a record amount of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes for the month of March, according to U.S. Treasury Department data on Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic caused a dislocation in the market that saw liquidity dry up.

Foreigners sold $299.346 billion in Treasuries in March, a record high, compared with foreign buying of $4.885 billion in February.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S. Oil Just Shy of $30, Chugging Along on China Data By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – President Donald Trump might very be disappointed with China these days, but it was Chinese data on Friday that helped accelerate U.S. crude oil’s run toward $30 per barrel.

, the New York-traded benchmark for U.S. crude, settled up $1.87, or 6.8%, at $29.43 per barrel after data showed China’s industrial production rose 3.9% in April from a year ago, improving from a 1.1% fall in March. 

, the London-traded global benchmark for oil, rose $1.37, or 4.4%, to settle at $32.50.  

WTI has been on a tear since hitting a bottom of $12.34 on Aug 28, rallying almost 140% in just over two weeks. The U.S. crude benchmark remains down 50% on the year. But Friday’s two-month high of $29.91 in WTI brought its discount versus Brent, typically at $5 per barrel, to under $3 at one point, powerfully altering the dynamics between the two benchmarks. 

For the week, WTI gained 19%, extending last week’s 25% jump and the previous week’s 17% rise. 

Brent saw a relatively modest climb of 5% on the week. Its gains over the past two weeks were virtually a reverse of WTI’s — 17% last week and 23% the previous week.

Much of the boom in U.S. crude of late has been due to cratering domestic production, as the coronavirus pandemic shut down wells and across the United States at a faster rate than elsewhere in the world. Rising gasoline production has also helped as most of the 50 U.S. states have reopened from lockdowns imposed over the Covid-19.

Rising gasoline consumption has also helped as most of the 50 U.S. states have reopened from lockdowns imposed over the Covid-19.

But Friday’s run toward $30 WTI — an important psychological mark for oil bulls —- came on the back of China’s resurgent industrial production data underscoring a recovery in factory activity in the world’s largest oil importing country. 

It also comes a day after President Donald Trump said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the outbreak of the virus, and that he might even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.

“WTI crude neared a two-month high as China’s industrial output rose for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, fueling hope that crude demand will soon improve in Europe and then the U.S.” said Ed Moya, analyst at New York’s OANDA. “China remains the template for the economic recovery for the rest of the world and (it) gave energy traders some hope that demand will begin to recover over the coming weeks.”

The march toward $30 WTI will mark a personal victory for Trump, who lobbied OPEC, Russia and other world oil producers in April to slash production and has gotten behind the U.S. energy industry to ensure its survival amid the pandemic. 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.