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Oil rises, stock markets mixed before key inflation data

Wall Street resumed trading after the Memorial Day holiday (ANGELA WEISS)
Wall Street resumed trading after the Memorial Day holiday (ANGELA WEISS)

Oil prices rose Tuesday on tensions in the Middle East while stock markets wavered as investors awaited key inflation data later this week.

Brent North Sea Crude rose 1.3 percent to $84.22 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate added 2.7 percent to $79.83 per barrel.

Meanwhile, Wall Street had a mixed day as investors returned from the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

"There appears to be some post-holiday lethargy," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

The Nasdaq surged to a fresh record following a 7.1 percent jump in Nvidia shares following reports that Elon Musk's xAI plans to purchase chips from Nvidia.

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However, the Dow pulled back as US Treasury yields pushed upward.

European stocks lacked direction to end in the red, with London's FTSE 100 index closing down 0.8 percent after its own long weekend, despite grocery delivery platform Ocado soaring almost 10 percent on a raised analyst outlook.

Frankfurt and Paris suffered similar losses.

"Risk sentiment has faltered in recent weeks, and global stock markets have experienced a mild sell off as the focus shifts to a plethora of economic data that is released this week," said XTB research director Kathleen Brooks.

- 'Undersupplied' oil -

The eurozone's May consumer prices data will be published Friday, followed by the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge for inflation, the US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index.

The PCE index is forecast to have slowed slightly in April from the previous month.

"This scenario will solidify expectations of a Fed rate cut in September if confirmed," said ActivTrades analyst Ricardo Evangelista.

A number of US policymakers warned in recent weeks that they were cautious about cutting rates too soon and wanted to see more data proving price pressures are easing.

The European Central Bank, however, is expected to act before the Fed and cut its rates in June.

In commodities, oil prices rose further before a June 2 output meeting of OPEC and other major producers. They are tipped to maintain output cuts.

"If the OPEC+ production cuts are maintained in the third quarter, the oil market is likely to be undersupplied in the summer months," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

At the same time, the start of the US driving season -- when many Americans hit the roads for their summer vacation -- is widely expected to boost demand for motor fuel.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.6 percent at 38,852.86 (close)

New York - S&P 500: FLAT at 5,306.04 (close)

New York - Nasdaq Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 17,019.88 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 8,254.18 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.9 percent at 8,057.80 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.5 percent at 18,677.87 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 5,030.35 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 38,855.37 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: FLAT at 18,821.16 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,109.57 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0862 from $1.0859 on Monday

Dollar/yen: UP at 157.14 from 156.88 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2763 from $1.2769

Euro/pound: UP at 85.09 from 85.03 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.7 percent at $79.83 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 1.3 percent at $84.22 per barrel

burs-jmb/bjt