Written By: John Schweitzer
U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday and the U.S. dollar has dropped to the weakest level in a year against a basket of other currencies after Australia’s central bank surprised the market with aggressive stimulus through an interest rate cut to a record low of 1.75 percent and a reading of China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI declined for the 14th consecutive month.
China’s Manufacturing PMI slid to 49.4 in April from 49.7 in March, marking the 14th consecutive month of decline.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Oil prices are under pressure on Tuesday after retreating yesterday following a 21 percent surge with Brent Crude oil prices last month in April and a 6 percent increase last week alone.
On Friday Brent crude prices declined below $48 a barrel, the highest level reached since early November, and is currently trading at $ 45.54 a barrel.
Brent crude is up over 40 percent since dropping to the high $ 20’s in early February.
Nymex Crude Oil (WTI) is up 50 percent since falling to a 13 year low of $26.00 a barrel on February 11th.
Currently, Nymex crude oil June futures is down .53 or -1.18 to $44.35 a barrel.
Rising OPEC Oil Production
OPEC’s oil output rose in April to 32.64 million barrels per day from 32.47 million barrels per day in the previous month.
On June 2nd OPEC will hold a meeting in Vienna and likely discuss a crude oil freeze after hopes for freezing oil production levels at January highs between OPEC members and Non-OPEC country Russia fell apart during a meeting last month in Qatar.
-John Schweitzer firstname.lastname@example.org