News that an oil tanker has caught fire in the Gulf of Oman is fuelling fears of geopolitical unrest in the region.
Neil Wilson of Market.com explains:
Oil has shot up sharply after slumping to 5-month lows overnight. Reports of an oil tanker being on fire in the Sea of Oman rattled markets and sent Brent up $2 in a matter of minute, but await to see whether this will hold or is an algo-based kneejerk that will be faded.
We know that geopolitical tensions in the region are worsening and raise supply-side concerns in terms of short-term outages etc – but with OPEC already curbing output and US production at a record high the market is far less susceptible to a shock.
Oil jumps after Gulf of Oman incident
Newsflash: The oil price has just surged on reports that a tanker in the Gulf of Oman is on fire.
Details of the incident are sketchy, beyond that it happened near the Iranian coast.
But markets are reacting fast. Brent crude has surged over 3% to $62 per barrel, having hit a five-month low below $60 last night.
What chartered surveyors say about Brexit
This month’s survey of Britain’s chartered surveyors is peppered with references to Brexit – here’s a round-up of comments:
Paul McSkimmings of Edward Watson Associates in Newcastle upon Tyne,
Good month with expected levels of instructions despite continuing uncertainty due to Brexit. I am still expecting a significant drop in work if Brexit eventually staggers over the line
Jonathan Milner of Paisley Properties in Huddersfield
Usual Easter bump continues. Demand remains strong, no Brexit jitters on the whole. Level second hand stock coming to market, whilst new build is increasingly popular.
Ben Hudson of Hudson Moody in York:
A realisation that Brexit will rumble on for ever has meant buyers and sellers are starting to make decisions to move.
James Brown of Norman F Brown in Richmond:
The shortage of new property on the market continues however following the Brexit postponement, buyers seem to have reacted positively and some properties are selling quickly at good prices.
Andrew W York of Moore & York in Leicester:
Upturn in sales during the second half of the month, but will this continue with all the political/ Brexit uncertainty?
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, says today’s survey shows the UK housing market is recovering.
But even though RICS sees prices recovering, Brexit is still a concern, he says:
“Some comfort can be drawn from the results of the latest RICS survey as it suggests that the housing market in aggregate may be steading. However much of the anecdotal insight provided by respondents is still quite cautious, reflecting concerns about both the underlying political and economic climate.
Rubinsohn also warns that some house-prices sellers are demanding too much for their homes, helping to bung the market up:
“Another significant point made by respondents is that there continues to be considerable emphasis on the need for realistic pricing on the part of vendors, which while not a new story, is indicative of the ongoing challenges.
Introduction: Housing market picking up after Brexit delay
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The Brexit storm clouds that have loomed over Britain’s economy for many months appears to be clearing.
A new survey of chartered surveyors shows that the housing sector recovered its nerve in May. Prices picked up on relief that the UK hadn’t crashed out of the EU without a deal this spring.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) house price measure – the difference between members reporting price rises and falls – improved to -10 from -22 in April.
That was its highest reading since October and was stronger than the City expected. It suggests that the steady downward pressure on house prices may be easing.
London’s housing market has taken the biggest hit from Brexit since 2016, but there are also sign that the long slump in the capital’s housing market may have bottomed out.
- New buyer enquiries steadier in May following recent declines
- South East now showing most negative sentiment on prices as London starts to bounce back
- Indicators on sales, prices and new instructions remain slightly negative, but less than previously
- Expectations point to a gradual improvement in activity over the next twelve months
Reaction to follow…
Also coming up today
We’ll be tracking events at Arcadia, after Philip Green finally persuaded his landlords to agree hefty rent cuts to keep the company running.
On the economic side, we get new eurozone factory output data and the latest US weekly jobless total.
In the City, supermarket chain Tesco is reporting its financial results – UK sales rose 0.4% in the last quarter, despite a “subdued market”, it says.
- 8.30am BST: Swiss central bank interest rate decision
- 10am BST: Eurozone industrial production for April
- 1.30pm BST: US weekly unemployment figures