Oil Surges Past $59 as Apple Drags on Tech Stocks: Markets Wrap

Updated on
  • Commodities index posts longest winning streak since 2005
  • Bitcoin prices recover and emerging-market currencies gain
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney discusses Apple and iPhone X sales forecasts for 2018.

Oil surged to the highest price since mid-2015 after a pipeline blast in Libya, while U.S. technology shares slipped on speculation Apple Inc.’s phone sales will fall short of estimates. Trading volumes were thin on the day after Christmas.

The Nasdaq Composite Index fell the most in a week and the S&P 500 edged lower, with Apple and its suppliers among the worst performers. Energy shares rallied with crude, which rose past $59 a barrel. Emerging-market currencies strengthened as commodities posted the longest winning streak in more than a decade. The Treasury sold $45 billion of three-month bills with a measure of demand at the lowest since January 2009, a show of investor anxiety before the U.S. is expected to breach its debt ceiling in March.

The major European stock exchanges were shut and markets overall were quiet as the stellar year for risk assets crawls to its end, with the possible exception of the cryptocurrency roller coaster. Next year could bring more drama, with tensions simmering between the U.S. and Russia, Italy’s parliament set to be dissolved for a risky European election, and a big decisions on the U.S. debt ceiling kicked down the road.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, bitcoin rallied as the biggest cryptocurrency attempted to move past a miserable five-day run. Japanese equity benchmarks dropped from the highest levels since the early 1990s, helping to pull the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down. The Brazilian real and South African rand were among the best performing currencies. Silver also jumped.

Terminal users can read more on bitcoin in Mohamed El-Erian’s Bloomberg View.

Among the events in focus for investors this week:

  • U.S. consumer confidence, home prices and trade data are on the schedule despite the holiday-shortened week.
  • Italy’s parliament is expected to be dissolved ahead of elections in 2018.
  • Rate decisions this week include Argentina and Egypt.

And these are the main moves in markets:


  • The S&P 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent at the close of trading in New York.
  • The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3 percent
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index dipped less than 0.1 percent.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index dropped 0.2 percent.


  • The euro was little changed at $1.1864.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
  • The British pound rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.3379.
  • South Africa’s rand jumped 0.8 percent to 12.5064 per dollar, the strongest in nine months.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.47 percent.


  • The Bloomberg Commodities Index rose 1.2 percent for its ninth consecutive gain, the longest winning streak since February 2005.
  • Gold increased 0.7 percent to $1,282.67 an ounce.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 2.2 percent to $59.77 a barrel.
  • Silver gained 1.3 percent to $16.55 per ounce, the highest in almost four weeks.

— With assistance by Chris Anstey, and Samuel Potter

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