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Doha: No Deal on Production Freeze, Oil Prices Tumble

Oil Producers Fail to Reach Agreement on Production Freeze

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Fifteen oil producing nations, both OPEC and non-OPEC, met in Doha yesterday, (Sunday, April 17th) in one of the most anticipated meetings this month to discuss freezing oil production levels. But with Iran dropping out at the last minute, the remaining members failed to draw up any conclusive or binding agreements, noting that all members (including Iran) must subscribe to the deal for an oil production freeze to take place. The failure to reach any agreement sent crude prices tumbling in early trading on the NYMEX which fell by more than 6 percent as traders fled the commodity fearing it would continue its downtrend.

UK Construction Output Dropped in February

UK construction output fell 0.30% in February, compared to the 0.40% decline in January, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday. Analysts were expecting to see no change during the month. On a year over year basis, construction output increased 0.30% in February, recovering from the 0.90% decline seen at the start of the year. Analysts were however hoping to see a 0.70% increase. The declines were driven by a fall in public construction and infrastructure, both of which fell 1.80%, highlighting investors’ concerns over the upcoming EU “Brexit” referendum.

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Eurozone Trade Surplus Falls in February

Trade data released by Eurostat on Friday showed that the Eurozone's trade surplus fell more than expected in February. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade surplus fell to 20.2 billion euros in February from 22.8 billion euros in January. The data missed estimates of 21.5 billion euros. Exports from the Eurozone increased 0.70% during the month while imports increased 2.60%. On non-seasonally adjusted basis, Eurozone's trade surplus decreased to 19 billion euros during the month, and year over year exports fell 1.0% and imports rose 2.0%.

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US Industrial Production and Consumer Sentiment Slips

In a report released by the Federal Reserve on Friday, US industrial production posted a larger than expected drop, falling 0.60% in March, led by decreased output from mining and utilities. Analysts were expecting to see industrial production fall by 0.10%. March's slump in industrial production follows February's 0.50% decline. Mining output fell 2.90%, dropping even further than the 0.10% decline in February, while utilities output fell by 1.20% in March. Overall, mining production has declined for seven months in a row. In a separate report, US consumer sentiment data fell in April to 89.7 from March's 91.0, survey results from the University of Michigan reported on Friday. April's dip in consumer sentiment marks the fourth consecutive month of declines. The report also showed that the index for consumers' assessment of current economic conditions slipped to 105.4 in April, down from 105.6 in March.

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New Zealand CPI Rises 0.20% in Q1, 2016

New Zealand’s Consumer Price Index rose 0.20% in the first quarter of 2016, exceeding forecasts of 0.10%, according to data released by Statistics New Zealand on Monday. The 0.20% rise follows a 0.50% contraction in the previous quarter, which matched a 15-year low. Driving up inflationary pressures were high prices of food and housing while gas and air fare prices fell. Cigarettes and tobacco prices rose 9.40%, after authorities hiked the excise duty in January. Excluding cigarettes and tobacco, New Zealand inflation was down 0.10% in the quarter. On a year over year basis, New Zealand’s inflation jumped 0.40% extending the 0.10% increase seen in the previous quarter. The latest inflation data matches the RBNZ's inflation forecasts but still remains well below the RBNZ's target band, increasing the likelihood of further RBNZ rate cuts.

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