Oil pipeline against the sunset

Oil Prices Surge, Payrolls Report Due, Stocks to Open Higher

Oil prices hit their highest in eight months. It was a surge of relief concerning the agreement governing the output of the world’s biggest producers. It didn’t fall apart at an unruly virtual meeting that lasted four days.

OPEC+ agreed to raise output by 500,000 barrels a day. That will start from January, in response to rising prices and an improved demand outlook for 2021. Thanks to the progress in Covid-19 vaccine development.

That failed expectations that the current levels would be locked in for another three months. But it’s only a quarter of the 2 million b/d increase the group had originally forecasted for January. Critically for market sentiment, it maintains the appearance of unity in accepting the need for continued output restraint.

U.S. crude futures were up 1.3% at $46.23 a barrel, by 6:45 AM ET (1145 GMT). Brent futures were up 1.3% at $49.33 a barrel. It hit $49.86 earlier in the session.

Payrolls Report Due

The U.S. labor market is anticipated to have strengthened in November. That’s with the creation of 469,000 nonfarm jobs. Additionally, a fall in the unemployment rate to 6.8% from 6.9% in October.

A more updated picture of the labor market also pointed to some resilience. For the first time in three weeks, initial jobless claims have dropped.

As usual, the report is due at 8:30 AM ET. Concurrently, the U.S. trade balance will also be released.

Moreover, U.S. factory orders will also be seen at 10 AM ET. Overnight, German factory orders increased by more than expected. It was to top their pre-pandemic level for the first time. 

It strengthened the euro to a new 31-month high of $1.2178. That’s less than a week before the European Central Bank’s next policy meeting.

Stocks Set to Open Higher 

U.S. stocks are set to open higher as signs that Congress will approve some kind of stimulus package soon are showing. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a deal was “within reach”. He is set to talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi again today.

The Dow Jones Futures contract was up 114 points, or 0.4% by 6:30 AM ET (1130 GMT). NASDAQ Futures gained 0.4%, while the S&P 500 Futures contract added 0.3%.

Meanwhile, nationwide deaths from Covid-19 hit a second straight daily record for deaths from the disease, at 2,879.

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