Oil hits 2016 high, but euro stocks down
Oil prices hit 2016 highs yesterday, with US crude piercing the $40 psychological barrier.
The barrier was breached on optimism that major producers will strike an output freeze deal next month amid soaring petrol demand in the United States.
A weaker dollar after a Federal Reserve policy decision on Wednesday that indicated two US rate hikes this year instead of four also drew oil buyers using currencies such as the euro.
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC producers led by Russia will meet on April 17 in Qatar's capital Doha, increasing the likelihood of the first global supply deal in 15 years.
"The remote possibility that a co-ordinated supply control effort comes from this meeting, assuming it even happens, has put market bears on the defensive," said Pete Donovan, a broker with Liquidity Energy in New York.
European shares equities ended lower after a choppy session yesterday, dragged down by exporters as the euro strengthened against the dollar.
Mining companies, however, were among the beneficiaries as a weaker dollar made metals more affordable to consumers who buy them in non-dollar denominated currencies, boosting metals such as copper and aluminium.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, Germany's DAX and France's CAC all closed 0.1 to 0.9pc lower.
In Dublin the Iseq index closed down 0.3pc at 6,141.85.
The European car index slipped by 1.1pc, pressured by falls of between 1.2pc and 2pc for big exporters BMW, Daimler, Renault and Peugeot. Other big movers included Banco Popolare, down 14pc on speculation that merger talks with Banca Popolare di Milano could break down.