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Oil price rally; Carlos Ghosn indicted again; Fed worries

1. Oil spike: US crude futures climbed 0.9% on Friday to above $53 per barrel, putting the commodity on track for its tenth consecutive daily gain. Oil is already on its the longest win streak since January 2010.

Crude prices have increased 10% so far this week. That’s despite new evidence of weakness in major economies including China and Germany, developments that would typically act as a drag on oil futures.

Oil has trended higher since OPEC and allies including Russia agreed in December to slash production. The deal called for the removal of 1.2 million barrels a day from world markets starting this month.

Crude prices got another boost this week after the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia is planning to slash its oil exports.

There’s still a long way to go, however. Prices are still well below the $75 per barrel level reached during a recent high in October.

2. Ghosn indicted again: Former Nissan (NSANY) chairman Carlos Ghosn has been indicted for the second time since his arrest in Japan nearly two months ago.

Prosecutors indicted Ghosn on two new charges. They allege he committed a breach of trust by transferring personal investment losses to Nissan, and understated his personal income between 2015 and 2018.

His Japanese legal team said Friday that they planned to apply for bail immediately. Ghosn was first indicted last month on charges of under-reporting his income during an earlier time period.

The auto executive has strongly denied the allegations against him. In a court appearance on Tuesday, he said he had been unfairly detained on “meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

Since his arrest, Ghosn has been removed as chairman by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF). Renault (RNSDF) and the French government have stood by him, presuming him innocent until proven otherwise.

3. What the Fed worries about: The Federal Reserve could be deprived of vital economic data if the US government shutdown continues, central bank chairman Jerome Powell has warned.

The US government has been partially shut for 20 days because Congress and the White House failed to reach a spending deal.

The US Commerce Department, which publishes reports the Fed uses to gauge the health of the economy, is among the agencies affected by the shutdown.

“We would have a less clear picture of the economy, if it would go on for much longer,” Powell said on Thursday.

4. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing higher, suggesting a sixth consecutive day of gains could be on the cards.

European markets opened higher. Stocks in Asia closed with gains.

The British pound briefly jumped as much as 0.5% to above $1.28 after the Evening Standard newspaper said Brexit could be delayed. The London newspaper, which is edited by former UK treasury chief George Osborne, cited UK cabinet ministers as the source of the information. The pound quickly gave back most of its gains.

The Dow and the S&P 500 added 0.5% on Thursday. The Nasdaq advanced 0.4%.

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5. Earnings and economics: Canadian cannabis company Aphria (APHA) will release earnings before the open.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish inflation reports for December at 8:30 am ET.

Macy’s (M) stock plunged nearly 18% on Thursday — the worst day in its history — after the company reported sluggish sales for November and December and trimmed its guidance.

6. Coming this week:
Friday — CPI reports

CNN News

CNN News

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