Oil prices slipped throughout much of last week amid market concerns over Russia's commitment to the production cuts agreement. Those apprehensions were set to rest after OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and Russia reached a compromise in Vienna to continue slashing output by 1.80 million barrels-per-day until the end of 2018, with a review of the progress slated for the cartel’s next regular meeting in June. The other major news that grabbed headlines late last week was the approval of a historic tax overhaul by the US Senate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be the largest tax revamp in the country since 1986, adding $1.40 trillion over the next 10 years to the US budget deficit.
In Brexit news, the UK and the European Union have reportedly agreed on a divorce bill, with media estimates of what the final figure will look like varying between €40 billion and €55 billion. On the economic data front, the Euro Area Manufacturing PMI surged to 60.1 in December, the second highest reading on record, signalling that the sector has fully recovered from a sharp contraction triggered by the region’s 2011 debt crisis. Adding to the bullish outlook for the currency bloc was a separate report that showed the unemployment rate dipping to 8.80% in October, the lowest level since January of 2009.