Article / 12 December 2017 at 8:00 GMT

Morning Markets: Brent jumps after North Sea pipeline shuts

Senior Editor / Saxo Bank




  • Sweden: CPI (08:30 GMT)
  • UK: CPI, November (09:30 GMT)
  • UK: PPI, November (09:30 GMT)
  • Germany: ZEW Economic Sentiment (10:00 GMT)
  • US: CPI, November (13:30 GMT)
  • US: API Crude oil inventories (21:30 GMT)
  • Japan: Machinery orders (23:50 GMT)

Another day, another Bitcoin story, but first to crude oil where Brent has jumped on news that Forties Pipeline System, the UK's main transit for its North Sea oil, has been closed because of emergency repairs. The shutdown is expected to take several weeks and Brent broke beyond $65/barrel in response, its highest level in more than two years.

As for Bitcoin, the latest on the world's favourite (and also its least favourite!) cryptocurrency is that both the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have weighed in with warnings. According to a story in today's Financial Times, the chairman of the former body has "signalled that the watchdog is keeping a close eye on trading" while the chairman of the latter said that investors should be aware of a “potentially high level of volatility and risk”.

In overnight trading, equity indices in Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong retreated, with many investors sitting on the sidelines as awaiting interest rate announcements by the Fed and the European Central Bank this week. trading in the European session today will likely follow suit.

Market signals

Asian session

  • Despite gains on Wall St on Monday, several Asian markets retreated
  • Trading was subdued as investors await Wednesday's FOMC rate announcement
  • Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 0.32% at 22,866.17
  • Brent crude rose after an announcement that a North Sea pipeline would be shut
  • Bitcoin lifted past $17,000 on the Bitcoin platform
  • South Korea is considering banning the cryptocurrency; Indonesia has already decided to
  • Tencent has bought a stake in a supermarket chain in China, as it takes on rival Alibaba
  • Australia's S&P/ASX200 closed up 0.25% at 6,013.20, thanks to gains for miners, banks
  • ANZ agreed to sell its life insurance business to Zurich for $2.85 billion
  • Australian Labor senator Sam Dastyari has quit parliament over his China connections
  • Australia: NAB business conditions fell to 12 points, after last month’s surge to 21 points
  • NAB business confidence fell to just 6 points from 9 points in November
  • Australia's home price boom is finally over: capital city home prices fell 0.2% in Q3
  • Sydney units, townhouses and semi-detached homes fell 1.4%, the most in six years

Forex ahead

  • NZD rose on the announcement of the RBNZ governor; it was worth 0.6932 at 0601 GMT
  • GBP fell against USD on investor concerns about challenges in future Brexit talks

From the Floor

Pre-CPI jitters. "EURSEK feels very twitchy around here" says Hardy


Ready to run. “We are set for higher highs in the Nasdaq Composite,” says Larsson

Get all the latest from Saxo Bank's trading floors in From the Floor, within the hour.

In opinion

Merry miners 
A strong lead overnight from Wall Street, as well as gains for copper, iron ore and oil, led the S&P/ASX200 higher in morning trade, writes the team at Saxo Capital Markets (Australia).

Sugar slide
Grains are generally lower ahead of the release of USDA data, while sugar has drifted lower, with indications that it may fall even further, writes the team at Saxo APAC Sales Trading.

Keep it real... investors are caught up in the Bitcoin frenzy, but authorities in Seoul, above, are considering banning the volatile cryptocurrency. Photo: Shutterstock

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