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Saudi Energy Minister Says 9-Month Extension a 'Safe Bet'

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OPEC meets in Vienna, Trump meets his European allies, and the U.K.'s growth is revised lower for the first quarter. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Safe bet

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that a nine-month extension to oil production cuts is a "very safe and almost certain option," at the opening session of the meeting between OPEC and its allies in Vienna this morning. Oil prices are getting whipsawed by headlines coming out of the meeting, however. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for July delivery, which had hit $52 earlier in the session, dropped to trade at $51.01 by 5:25 a.m. Eastern Time, after Al-Falih deemed proposals for deeper cuts unnecessary. 

Trump in Europe

President Donald Trump continues his first overseas tour as he meets with the U.S.'s NATO allies at the organization's headquarters in Brussels today. While this week's deadly bombing in Manchester has added urgency to the president's call for the group to become more engaged in fighting global terrorism, a spat between U.K. and U.S. intelligence services over the leaking of details of the investigation into the attack risks overshadowing the meeting. British police are reportedly no longer sharing information with their U.S. counterparts. 


The second reading of first-quarter growth in the U.K. showed the economy grew slower than originally estimated, with a 0.2 percent expansion in the period. The report from the Office of National Statistics showed that net trade was the biggest drag on the economy, with exports falling 1.6 percent. The Bank of England had expected growth for the period to be revised higher, so this morning's disappointing report may tempt policy makers to continue to maintain support for the economy.

Markets are quiet

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.7 percent, while Japan's Topix Index added 0.2 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4 percent, spurring speculation of state support for the market. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was unchanged at 5:50 a.m. as traders digest yesterday's Federal Reserve minutes and the OPEC meeting. S&P 500 futures added 0.3 percent

Coming up...

At 8:30 a.m. initial jobless claims data is released in the U.S., with expectations for 238,000 new claims. It's also worth keeping an eye on developments in Brazil today as pressure on President Michel Temer intensifies. Violent protests have rocked the country's capital, with the ministry of agriculture set on fire

What we've been reading

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

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