Oil glut sends prices down 20 percent for November; shares little changed before Trump-Xi talks

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices retreated further on Friday amid a global glut, racking up a 20 percent drop for November, while most major equity markets kept moves tight ahead of weekend talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

In Europe, Frankfurt’s export-heavy DAX stock index and Britain’s domestic-focused FTSE 250 both faced a fourth consecutive month of declines.

The German index saw its worst run since late 2008, weighed by Deutsche Bank shares falling to an all-time low as police searched its headquarters for a second day in a money laundering scandal linked to the Panama Papers.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.10 percent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.17 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15.34 points, or 0.06 percent, to 25,323.5, the S&P 500 gained 5.69 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,743.45 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.14 points, or 0.35 percent, to 7,298.22.

November’s real humdingers have been oil and shares of Apple which have plunged 21 percent and 18 percent respectively, the biggest declines for both since the financial crisis a decade ago.

Graphic: Oil and Apple November slump –

Swelling inventories depressed sentiment and oil prices, despite widespread expectations that OPEC and Russia would agree on some form of production cut next week.

U.S. crude fell 0.6 percent to $51.14 per barrel and Brent was last at $58.68, down 1.39 percent on the day.

Markets could have a wild December if Trump and Xi fail to de-escalate their trade rhetoric during talks at this weekend’s G20 meeting in Argentina.

“People don’t want to get too optimistic heading into a meeting, because the (U.S.) president is kind of a wild card,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“You don’t know how tough he’ll be with this meeting and these negotiations.”

Data on Friday added to the anticipation, showing that growth in China’s vast manufacturing sector had stalled this month for the first time in more than two years.

Trump has sent mixed signals saying, “I think we’re very close to doing something with China but I don’t know that I want to do it,” because the money coming in from the tariffs he has imposed has been so lucrative.

The dollar rose as investors prepared for fallout from the talks, which are expected to increase volatility across markets.

The dollar index, tracking it against six major currencies, rose 0.39 percent, with the euro down 0.61 percent to $1.1321.

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