Black Friday arrives but European shares are in the red, Asia mixed
Europe’s stock markets have seen some sharp decline this morning as energy stocks drop along with oil prices following OPEC’s decision yesterday to not cut production. There may be a recovery for Europe later as data is expected show a rise in consumer prices and no increase in unemployment. Asian markets closed largely higher with Tokyo’s Nikkei gaining after a rise in consumer prices and Shanghai advancing 2 points with profit forecasts for transport firms looking better due to low oil prices together with bets on further stimulus. US stock futures are higher while oil is down more than 6 per cent and gold is also lower.
Fed balance sheet at 4.30pm ET
Money supply report at 4.30pm ET
Dayco, First National Bank and Liberty Energy are among those reporting today.
Retailers optimistic on Black Monday sales after Thanksgiving boom
The lines outside major retailers formed while the turkey was still warm yesterday as stores across the US opened earlier than before on Thanksgiving Day. Despite poor weather in some parts of the country, retailers report that business was brisk on what has been dubbed ‘Grey Thursday’ in a hat tip to Black Friday. Online retailers will be hoping that the willingness of American consumers to brave 6 feet of snow to head to stores doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm for buying online today. The auto industry is also looking to build on the popularity of Black Friday vehicle sales which have been increasing in recent years.
Russian oil official predicts sub-$60 barrel by next summer; analysts warning on US shale producers
One of Russia’s most powerful oil officials says oil could fall lower than $60 a barrel during next year. Igor Sechin, CEO of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, warned that OPEC’s decision to continue its output of 30 million barrels a day is likely to see lower prices but only for the first half of next year. Prices this morning are already down to $68 a barrel. Meanwhile analysts say that US producers of shale oil could struggle to operate at such low margins and there could be defaults. Many shale producers carry high levels of debt.
Google could be forced to break up its European business
The European Parliament has voted to take measures to cut Google’s overwhelming dominance of online search in the region. Google is used for 90 per cent of all web searches in Europe and politicians say that amounts to a virtual monopoly. Concerns that the firm has too much power and gives undue prominence to its own products and services will now be considered by the European Commission which has the power to order a break-up of the company’s European operations.