Oil falls on output concern; U.S. stocks down
Oil prices slipped on Thursday as producers hinted at more output, while U.S. stocks had their first loss in four sessions after a mixed bag of earnings reports.
The euro eased against the dollar after traders saw potential for the European Central Bank to eventually increase its stimulus measures if necessary.
In his comments Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi brushed off German criticism of his ultra-loose monetary policy and vowed to use all the tools at his disposal for “as long as needed.”
“Markets are convinced that the ECB will do more if it becomes necessary,” said Sireen Harajli, currency strategist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in New York.
The euro was last down 0.04 percent against the dollar at $1.1290, after hitting a nine-day high of $1.1394 on the back of comments from Draghi.
Crude oil prices fell as Russia and major producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries indicated they will raise output.
U.S. crude oil prices slid 2.3 percent to settle at 43.18 a barrel. In London, Brent crude was down 2.8 percent to settle at $44.53 a barrel.
Despite Thursday’s slide, crude oil prices are up about 40 percent from multi-year lows hit seen in January.
U.S. stocks ended lower, snapping a three-day winning streak on mixed earnings. Verizon fell 3.3 percent after warning that a strike by workers would likely impact its bottom line.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 113.75 points, or 0.63 percent, to 17,982.52, the S&P 500 lost 10.92 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,091.48 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.24 points, or 0.05 percent, to 4,945.89.
Expectations for first-quarter U.S. earnings were low, with S&P 500 index companies expected to post a 7.2 percent fall in profit on average, and a 1.4 percent decline in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.
“These are greatly reduced expectations, so I hope they do beat these expectations, because otherwise we’d really be in dire straits,” said Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust Co in Boston.
The MSCI world stock index hit its highest level in almost five months early Thursday before trading down 0.2 percent, while European shares closed down 0.3 percent.
BOND YIELDS RISE TO 3-WEEK HIGHS
U.S. Treasury yields rose to more than three-week highs as recent gains in oil reduced demand for safe-haven U.S. bonds, and as high quality European government bond yields spiked.
U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury notes fell 5/32 in price to yield 1.87 percent, up from 1.85 percent on Wednesday and 1.78 percent on Tuesday.
Weakness in high-grade European government bonds, which had supported U.S. debt, added to pressure after it was reported that Greece had a primary surplus last year.
“The optics of higher oil led to some small lot selling yesterday that then got compounded,” said Jim Vogel, an interest rate strategist at FTN Financial in Memphis, Tennessee.
(Additional reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; SAm Forgione and Karen Brettell in New York; Editing by Clive McKeef, Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)