Oil prices fall as tensions ease, stocks mostly advance

By: AFP
Published: 09:55 AM, 9 Feb, 2022
Oil prices fall as tensions ease, stocks mostly advance
Caption: Representational image.
Stay tuned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

Oil prices fell Tuesday on easing geopolitical concerns surrounding major crude producers Iran and Russia while stock markets mostly moved higher.

Talks to revive a deal with Iran on its contested nuclear program resumed in Vienna after officials signaled an agreement was "in sight."

"There is a US offer, there is a counter-offer," said the European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. 

"I don't if know it's going to be one week, two weeks, three weeks, but certainly we are in the last steps of the negotiation."

Oil prices fell about two percent. 

Edward Moya, analyst at trading group Oanda, said signs of progress in US-Iran nuclear talks -- which could see Tehran sell oil internationally again -- would likely not have much long-term impact on the crude price rally towards $100 per barrel.

"Energy traders locked in some profits over optimism that the US and Iran might be able to salvage a nuclear deal," he said.

"The oil market still remains heavily in deficit and whatever weakness happens to prices will likely be short-lived."

Analysts also pointed to hopes about the situation with Ukraine after French President Emmanuel Macron said he had convinced Russia's Vladimir Putin not to escalate the crisis with its neighbor, ahead of talks in Kyiv aimed at defusing fears Moscow could invade. 

In equity markets, Wall Street shrugged off early weakness and worries about higher interest rates following a batch of mostly solid earnings from DuPont, Harley-Davidson and others.

But sentiment was more muted in Europe, where stock markets in Frankfurt and Paris ended the day marginally higher, while London dipped. 

Investors are bracing for central banks to raise interest rates to tame inflation, a move that could weigh down on the global economic recovery. 

But Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said that "by and large, markets and investors are getting used to the idea of higher rates from central banks."

In Asia, SoftBank announced that the $40 billion sale of chip powerhouse Arm to Nvidia had collapsed because of "significant regulatory challenges" over competition concerns.

The Japanese telecoms firm-turned-investment giant also reported net profit of $251 million in the third quarter.

In other markets, the price of aluminium surged to the highest level in 14 years at $3,236 per-ton on stretched supplies after China placed the city of Baise -- a key producer of the base metal -- in Covid lockdown.

- Key figures around 2050 GMT - 

New York - Dow: UP 1.1 percent at 35,462.78 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.8 percent at 4,521.54 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.3 percent at 14,194.45 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,567.07 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.2 percent at 15,241.61 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 7,028.41 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 4,129.25 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 27,284.52 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.0 percent at 24,329.49 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,452.63 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1426 from $1.1442 late Monday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3545 from $1.3536

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.27 pence from 84.53 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 115.53 from 115.10 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.1 percent at $90.78 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.1 percent at $89.36 per barrel

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.