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GLOBAL MARKETS-Oil surges, stock futures slip after attack on Saudi facility

Credit: REUTERS/NICK OXFORD

Oil prices surged to six-month highs on Monday while Wall Street futures turned lower and safe haven bets returned after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's crude facilities knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply.

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Oil prices surged to six-month highs on Monday while Wall Street futures turned lower and safe haven bets returned after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's crude facilities knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 jumped 15% to the highest since May. It was last at $60.89 a barrel while Brent crude LCOc1 was up 13% at $68.06 after earlier rising to $71.95.

Signalling a weak start for Asian share markets, E-Minis for the S&P 500 ESc1 were off 0.4% while those for the Dow 1YMc1 eased 0.3%.

Liquidity in Asia is expected to be thin on Monday with Japan shut for a public holiday, which could exacerbate market volatility.

"Saturday's news of multiple drone attacks on Saudi Arabia Abqaiq petroleum processing facility is set to reverberate through global markets this week," said Ray Attrill, head of forex strategy at National Australia Bank.

In addition to massive supply disruptions, the attacks also heightened investor worries about the geopolitical situation in the region and worsening relations between Iran and the United States. Those concerns powered safe-haven assets with prices for gold XAU= climbing 1% in early Asian trade to $1,503.09.

The Yemeni Houthi group had claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit the world's biggest oil-processing facility but a senior U.S. official told reporters on Sunday that evidence indicated Iran was behind it.

U.S. President Donald Trump said late on Sunday the United States was "locked and loaded" for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities.

In currencies, the Saudi news pushed the yen JPY= up 0.2% to 107.8 per dollar while the Canadian dollar CAD=D3 rose 0.5% in anticipation of higher oil prices.

The euro EUR=D3 was little moved near a three-week top while the pound GBP=D3 hovered near Friday's two-month highs. That left the greenback down 0.15% at 98.105 against a basket of six major currencies .DXY.

"One immediate question this poses for bond markets is whether a further rise in the inflation expectations component of bond yields - which have proved historically sensitive to oil prices - will give this month's sharp bond market sell-off fresh impetus," Attrill added.

"Or will safe haven considerations dominate to drive yields lower? Watch this space."

In early Asian trading, futures for U.S. 10-year Treasury notes TYv1 rose 0.2%, indicating yields may slip when cash trading begins.

Global bonds were sold off last week, sending yields higher, led by a broader risk rally on hopes the United States and China would soon end their long trade war. Better-than-expected U.S. retail sales data also boosted sentiment.

Chinese data for industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment will be released later on Monday, which could help set the tone for this week's trade.

Investors also await the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting on Wednesday at which it is widely expected to ease interest rates and signal its future policy path. FEDWATCH

Asia stock marketshttps://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

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(Editing by Sam Holmes)

((swati.pandey@thomsonreuters.com; +61 2 9321 8166; Reuters Messaging: swati.pandey.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; twitter.com/swatisays))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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