Brent Prices Set For First Yearly Drop Since 2015

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1. Brent Prices Set For First Yearly Drop Since 2015
Oil prices rose about 2 percent on the final trading day of the year on Monday, but were on track for the first annual decline in three years. Lingering concerns of a persistent oversupply glut pushed oil prices lower for much of 2018. However, hints of progress on a possible U.S.-China trade deal with U.S. President Donald Trump helped bolster oil sentiment this morning. Specifically, Brent crude futures (CL_BRENT) rose $1.09, or 2.05 percent, to last trade at $54.28 a barrel by 8:30 GMT. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (USOIL) crude futures were last seen at $46.16 a barrel, up 84 cents, or 1.9 percent, from their last close. It should be noted that crude WTI is down about 24 percent this year, while Brent declined nearly 19 percent in 2018 following two years of growth.*

2. EU Shares Rally On Latest China/US Developments
European stocks open higher on the final day of 2018 after some positive developments to the U.S.-China trade standoff. U.S. President Donald Trump stated he had a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade. He also claimed that “big progress” was being made on this front. His statements have brought optimism to stocks worldwide that have been under pressure this year. It is important to note that major stocks across the world are still set to record calendar year declines. Among today’s biggest gainers was Debenhams up 2%, G4S up 2.9% and EasyJet up 1.48% as of 8:40 GMT.**

3. Tesla Shares Race Higher
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) raced higher on Friday, up by almost 6% to finish the session at $333.87, after the company received a bullish analyst note from Wall Street. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives reiterated an outperform rating and price target of $440 on Tesla shares.Wedbush, which only initiated coverage on Tesla earlier this month, argues that demand for the Model 3 “looks very strong into 2019 and beyond.”***

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*Source: Investing Dec 31, 2018 2:48 AM ET
**Source: Forbes Dec 31, 2018 5:53 AM ET
***Source: CNBC Dec 31, 2018 03:07 AM ET

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