Thanks for joining me. The price of oil is on track for its worst slump in five years in a sign that petrol prices should be falling.
Brent crude is on track for a seventh consecutive weekly decline, its worst run since 2018, amid concerns about global demand and doubts over the commitment to supply cuts by members of the Opec+ cartel.
5 things to start your day
1) Hunt and Sunak are to blame for forecasting errors, says OBR chief | Economic predictions could be off by as much as £30bn, warns Richard Hughes
2) Labour recruits City grandees as it declares it is ‘no longer sneering at business’ | Move aims to erase the anti-business era and shore up support in the Square Mile
3) Hunt’s Edinburgh Reforms are a ‘damp squib’, say MPs | Chancellor’s efforts to champion post-Brexit regulatory reforms remain ‘unconvincing’
4) Saudi Arabia turns to British expertise as it seeks to turn oil rich Kingdom into the next Dubai | The Gulf state races to build the infrastructure and attractions needed to draw visitors
5) Half of first-time buyers in their 20s get help from Bank of Mum and Dad | Young people getting on the property ladder are being gifted an average of £25,000
What happened overnight
Asian shares were mostly higher on Friday ahead of a US government jobs report, after Wall Street rose Thursday to snap its first three-day losing streak since Halloween.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 1.7pc, or 550.45 points, to 32,307.86, as investors speculated that the Bank of Japan may end its negative interest rate policy.
Before meeting Thursday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda told parliament the central bank would face an “even more challenging” situation at the year’s end and in early 2024.
The pound has fallen 0.2pc to 181 Japanese yen. It was trading above 188 yen in late November.
Updated data showed Japan’s economy shrank by 2.9pc year-on-year in the July-September quarter, worse than estimated earlier.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.3pc to 16,394.90 and the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.4pc at 2,977.83.
The Kospi in Seoul gained 1pc to 2,519.07. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2pc to 7190.70. India’s Sensex added 0.4pc and Bangkok’s SET gained 0.2pc.
In the US, the S&P 500 rose 0.8pc to 4,585.59, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading American companies rose 0.17pc to 36,117.38. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite index rose 1.37pc to 14,339.99.
The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds rose to around 4.15pc, up three basis points. This came amid snetiment on Wall Street that the market had given too much credence to the idea that major central banks are gearing up to cut rates. This was fuelled by comments by Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda, who gave an indication that Japan could raise rates on December 19.
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This notice was published: 2023-12-08 10:04:39