NEW YORK: Oil prices gained on Wednesday as government data showed U.S. crude stocks rose slightly less than expected last week, while the U.S. dollar advanced against the euro ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting.
U.S. stocks edged up in late-morning trade following gains in energy shares and some upbeat earnings reports.
Brent crude oil was up 77 cents at $44.80 a barrel, while U.S. crude was up 67 cents at $41.75 a barrel. Oil prices had been lower earlier after Kuwaiti workers ended a three-day strike.
On Wall Street, investors are focused on the earnings season as they seek catalysts to drive stocks higher. Intuitive Surgical rose 3.9 percent after stronger-than-expected profit, though Coca-Cola was down 4.5 percent after reporting a drop in sales.
“If earnings continue to surprise on the upside, you could see people … join the rally and that money from the sidelines will move into the market,” said Nadia Lovell, U.S. Equity Specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 43.86 points, or 0.24 percent, to 18,097.46, the S&P 500 had gained 3.96 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,104.76 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 19.38 points, or 0.39 percent, to 4,959.71.
The MSCI All-Country World index was up 0.2 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.6 percent.
The U.S. dollar rose against the euro on fears that comments from the ECB on Thursday could hurt the European currency, while some riskier commodity currencies remained near multi-month highs on greater relief over China’s economy.
The ECB, though, is not expected to make any policy changes at its meeting on Thursday. It is expected to reiterate its plans to support the euro zone economy, according to analysts.
The euro eased from a one-week high against the dollar of $1.1386 touched earlier in the session and was last down 0.28 percent at $1.1324 ahead of the ECB’s Thursday meeting.
U.S. Treasuries were steady and yields held in their recent tight range with no major economic releases due this week and as investors looked ahead to next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
Benchmark 10-year note yields fell to 1.77 percent, down from 1.78 percent on Tuesday. Yields have held between 1.81 percent and 1.69 percent since the beginning of April.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder