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Crude posts best week since March

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-05-2017 Bloomberg

Oil rose back above $50 a barrel to a one-month high on growing confidence that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will maintain its efforts to diminish a global glut.

Prices (West Texas Intermediate) increased 5.2% last week, making it the biggest weekly gain since March. Opec and its allies will probably prolong their agreement at least until the end of the year, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts this week.

Oil was also boosted by a weakening dollar, headed for its steepest weekly slide since July, boosting the appeal of commodities as a store of value.

West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose 98 cents to $50.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It’s the highest close since 19 April.

Brent for July settlement climbed $1.10, or 2.1%, to $53.61 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 5.4% this week.

The Bloomberg Dollar Index dropped as much as 0.7% to the lowest level since November. Bloomberg

Bitcoin tops $1,900 for the first time

Bitcoin rose as much as 4.2% to an all-time intraday high of $1,961.70 on Friday, marking its fifth straight day of gains.

Subrata Jana/Mint

The cryptocurrency has more than doubled its value since the beginning of the year amid global political uncertainty and increased interest in Asia.

Skeptics have said that there may be a bubble in the making as bitcoin has repeatedly broken records without showing signs of slowing. Bloomberg

Sharp rise in railways’ capital expenditure

Indian Railways’ capex for FY17 is about 29% higher than the previous year at Rs1.21 trillion, according to the government’s revised estimates.

Importantly, the capex target for FY18 is even higher at Rs1.3 trillion.

Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint

A report by Edelweiss Securities says that the higher outlay is focused towards freight-carrying capacity enhancement, safety and improving passenger service quality in railways.

The sharp increase in capex would help companies servicing the sector, which will encompass capital goods makers, engineering companies into turnkey services and electrification and signalling.

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