U.S. West Texas Intermediary (WTI) crude prices jumped to $36.56, briefly surpassing the price of Brent for the first time since November last year, before trimming gains to $36.44 a barrel, still up a robust 30 cent, or 0.82%. The gains came after a private survey showed U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.6M barrels to 486.7M barrels, compared with expectations of a 1.1M rise; also supporting the futures, Congress has ended a 40-year ban on oil exports, opening the door for American producers to dump some of their excess supply on the international markets. Brent futures went back to regain its premium over U.S. crude but barely, trading at $36.49 a barrel, up 11 cents for the day, or 0.30%.
Asian shares edged up, supported by the profits reaped by their American counterparts. China's CSI300 for the biggest companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.40%. Australia's S&P\ASX 200 index advanced 0.50%. Korea's KOSPI rose 0.33%. Trading was thin however, as Japanese markets are closed for the Emperor's birthday.
Wall Street closed on a high note, with Dow Jones up 165 points, or 0.96% at 17,417. NASDAQ added 32 points, or 0.65% to 5,001. S&P 500 climbed 17 points, or 0.88% to 2,038.
Dollar was largely flat, with its index, which measures its performance against a basket of six major currencies, inching up 0.06% to 98.28. Dollar rose 0.14% against the euro to 1.0941, after three consecutive sessions of losses. It was slightly down against the yen at 121.04, not far from a week-low reached yesterday at 120.72. Dollar gave up 0.11% against the sterling to 1.4837, after seven rising sessions in a row that led it to an eight-month high yesterday at 1.4804.
Gold futures slid a dollar, or 0.09% to $1,073 an ounce, extending its previous session losses. Silver futures fell 7 cents, or 0.48% to $14.24 an ounce. Copper was livelier, clawing back some of its yesterday's losses, and rising 0.42% to $2.118 a pound.
From the U.S., Core Durable Goods Orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, is expected to have risen 0.1% m\m in November, slowing down from October's 0.5% growth. A higher growth for orders is positive for the currency.