In spite of the announcement of a smaller-than-expected decrease in U.S. crude inventories last week, WTI crude oil prices rose by +0.23% to $48.23 per barrel on Thursday. Brent rose +0.18% to keep its price above $50 mark at $51.29. Domestic oil inventories for the week ended December 18 decreased by 0.6 million barrels to 499.5 million barrels, according to the Department of Energy, although the consensus was for a decline of 3 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks decreased by 1.1 million barrels (compared to an estimated demand rise of 0.8 million barrels), while distilled oil inventories decreased by 2.3 million barrels compared to the previous week, compared to an expected decrease of 1.5 million barrels.

Gold prices rose by +0.45 percent to $1,883.20 for the Comex futures contract in February. With veto on the economic stimulus plan by U.S. President Donald Trump, worsening health situation and finalization of Brexit deal in Europe caused the Dollar to weaken its position against the major riskier currencies, resulted in strengthening of the risk appetite for yellow metal.

Rejecting to approve the financial stimulus bill in its current form by the U.S. President Donald Trump created confusion among market participants and caused certain risky assets to win against the dollar. The Euro was also improved by successfully completing the Brexit agreement in Europe which resulted in weakness of dollar too. All these factors also added to the rising yellow as well as black gold prices.

In spite of the government’s efforts to completely pay for wage costs, American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) said it would recall workers sent on administrative leave. At the close of trading in the session shortened due to Christmas holiday, shares of the Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered airline dropped by -1.45 percent and were worth $15.66. For the company which entered 2020 with the largest debt load of more than any other U.S. airline, unclear position of the stimulus plan that promised the wages cost was also a challenging situation.

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