Market Brief: Oil Surges 14% on Saudi Oil Strike, FX Impact Limited

Matt Weller
By :  ,  Head of Market Research

  • The weekend’s drone strikes on oil refineries in Saudi Arabia dominated markets, with oil prices ultimately finishing the day around 13% higher, its fourth-largest one day rise on record. Tensions in the region remain elevated with US authorities blaming the attack on Iran.
  • FX: The oil-sensitive loonie was predictably the strongest major currency today, though it only rose about 0.3% against the greenback. European currencies brought up the rear, with both the euro and pound falling against their rivals.
  • Commodities: Gold tacked on about 0.5% in general risk-off trade.

  • US indices finished roughly 0.5% lower today, as oil prices represent a key cost for most firms (not to mention the potential impact on consumer spending).
  • Energy (XLE) was by far the strongest sector, gaining roughly 4% in its biggest one-day rise this year. Material stocks (XLB) were the weakest sector on the day.
  • Stocks on the move:
    • Oil companies were big beneficiaries of the surge in oil prices, with megacaps Exxon Mobile (XOM, +1%) and Chevron (CVX, +2%) both bucking the bearish trend in broader markets.
    • General Motors (GM) dropped -4% after 50k UAW workers began a potentially long strike.
    • Overstock.com (OSTK) fell another -21% to unwind about half of the short squeeze that was driving the troubled retailer in the first half of the month.
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