Wall Street Poised for New Records, Bitcoin Futures Volumes Plunge, Oil Surges

December 12, 2017

New York (Dec 12)  Wall Street futures extended gains Tuesday, Dec. 12, while European stocks edged into the green as the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy meeting in Washington amid a backdrop of robust global growth and tepid inflation, a mix that has helped boost markets around the world to a series of record highs.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25 points, or 0.1%, above their record close on Monday, Dec. 11, while those linked to the broader S&P 500 were indicated 1.75 points to the upside, suggesting a 0.07% gain at the opening bell.

The gains followed a modestly bullish session in Europe, where the Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark added 0.3% and benchmarks around the region bumped as investors track both the euro, which remained under the 1.18 mark against a firmer U.S. dollar, and a surge in global oil prices.

Britain's FTSE 100 also booked solid gains, rising 0.26% despite a stronger pound sterling, which jumped after a faster-than-expected reading for U.K. inflation of 3.1% last month, the highest since March 2012.

Oil stocks, including BP PLC  (BP - Get Report) , which gained 1.3%, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC  (RDS.A - Get Report) , which gained 1.1%, were upside leaders after Brent crude hit a July 2015 high of $65.63 per barrel following the shutdown of the Forties North Sea Oil pipeline.

•Brent Crude Prices Spike to July 2015 Highs Following Forties Pipeline Shutdown

The Forties Pipeline System, which is owned and operate by Ineos, suffered a hairline crack last week and was fully shut down overnight, the company said, halting the delivery of around 450,000 barrels of oil and gas each day to the northern coast of Scotland. The shutdown will impact that largest input into the so-called dated Brent crude mix that is used to settle around half of the world's crude contracts.


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