By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices dropped for a second straight session on Monday as U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta weakened, while a strike that had affected production in Norway came to an end.

Brent crude <LCOc1> for December fell 55 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.30 a barrel by 0023 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate <CLc1> for November was at $40.08 a barrel, down 52 cents, or 1.3%.

Front-month prices for both contracts gained more than 9% last week, the biggest weekly rise for Brent since June, but fell on Friday after Norwegian oil firms struck a wage bargain with labour union officials, resolving a strike that threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by close to 25%.

“We had good support for both Brent and West Texas on the back of some supply concerns,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“Given that the hurricane season in the U.S. has just started, there’s potential for that to keep prices firm.”

In the United States, Hurricane Delta, which dealt the greatest blow to U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico energy production in 15 years, was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by Sunday.

Workers headed back to production platforms on Sunday while Total SA <TOTF.PA> continued restarting its 225,500 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery on Sunday.

However, Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil products pipeline in the United States, shut its main distillate fuel line after the hurricane disrupted power, the company said on Sunday.

(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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Stocks traded higher Friday morning as investors continued to mull chances of a virus-relief package amid mixed signals from officials as to what size of a proposal they might support.

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The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq each closed at their highest levels in more than five weeks by the end of the trading day on Thursday. All three major indices were on track to rise for a third straight day, and post weekly gains of at least 2.7%, as of Thursday’s closing levels.

Traders have closely monitored developments out of Washington to weigh whether a comprehensive or partial stimulus package might emerge before Election Day on Nov. 3, with additional relief measures viewed as a key tenet in encouraging the recovery in the virus-stricken economy. The Department of Labor’s weekly report on new jobless claims Thursday morning showed a worse than expected 840,000 individuals filed for first-time unemployment insurance benefits last week, though continuing claims dipped back below 11 million for the first time since late March.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed further stimulus in an about 40-minute conversation Thursday afternoon, Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill said in a Twitter post.

Hammill reported that Mnuchin “made clear the President’s interest in reaching” an agreement on a comprehensive package, after Pelosi said earlier in the day that she would not support a standalone proposal aimed at providing aid only to airlines. However, the White House has offered mixed signals as to whether it would in fact support a broader legislative package, with Trump and White House spokespeople offering conflicting takes on their willingness to back a more comprehensive proposal over the past couple days.

“A compromise on a big stimulus package in Washington could potentially deliver another October surprise, but the odds are against it

(Bloomberg) — Singapore banks will extend debt relief for individuals and small-to-midsized businesses beyond the end of the year to support borrowers hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.



a group of people walking down a street next to tall buildings with Westin Bonaventure Hotel in the background: Buildings stand in the central business district in Singapore, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Rising interest rates and the latest round of property curbshave put the brakes on mortgage demand at Singapore’s banks, potentially further dragging down the city’s housing market.


© Bloomberg
Buildings stand in the central business district in Singapore, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Rising interest rates and the latest round of property curbshave put the brakes on mortgage demand at Singapore’s banks, potentially further dragging down the city’s housing market.

The measures, set to expire on Dec. 31, will now progressively end over 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement. The extended program will be tiered so those businesses needing the most help — such as aviation and tourism — can defer 80% of their principal repayments for as long as June 30, the regulator said.

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Individuals with property loans who are unable to resume making full repayments due to a loss of income can apply for reduced payments pegged at 60% of their monthly installments for as long as nine months. Borrowers struggling to pay unsecured revolving credit facilities can apply to have repayments at a lower rate, the MAS said.

The Singapore government, like many around the world, is trying to navigate what’s expected to be a record recession brought on by the pandemic. Authorities are taking steps to mitigate the so-called “cliff effect” on consumers and businesses once relief measures end. The city state has pledged virus aid of around S$100 billion ($73 billion).

Cash Flow

“We want to continue providing relief to borrowers facing cash flow challenges while encouraging them to resume loan repayments to the extent they are able to, so that they do not accumulate too much debt,” MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon said in the statement.

Bloomberg reported last week that the regulator and banks had been

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. stock futures dipped on Friday after President Donald Trump said he and his wife will quarantine after a close aide tested positive for the coronavirus.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work inside posts, on the first day of in-person trading since the closure during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 fell 0.39% in Asian trading after the nwes, extending earlier losses, while Treasury yields remained broadly unchanged.

The U.S. dollar held steady against most currencies, but it rose against the Australian and New Zealand dollars in a sign of risk aversion.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.15%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.68% as a decline in oil and copper prices weighed on the resources sector.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index .N225 was up 0.15% after the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) resumed normal trading after its worst-ever outage brought the world’s third-largest equity market to a standstill.

Trump said on Twitter that he and his wife had been tested for coronavirus after Hope Hicks, a senior advisor who recently traveled with the president, tested positive.

If Trump also tested positive, that could cause a new wave of market volatility as investors brace for a hotly-contested presidential election in November.

“It depends on how serious this becomes, and whether or not Trump is actually infected,” said Masayuki Kichikawa, chief macro strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

“The most important thing is we were already worried about an uncertain outcome from the election, and this adds to the uncertainty.”

In addition, a spate of data, including jobless claims and consumer spending, suggested that the plodding

By Stanley White and Pete Schroeder

TOKYO/WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters)U.S. stock futures dipped on Friday after President Donald Trump said he and his wife will quarantine after a close aide tested positive for the coronavirus.

Futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 fell 0.39% in Asian trading after the nwes, extending earlier losses, while Treasury yields remained broadly unchanged.

The U.S. dollar held steady against most currencies, but it rose against the Australian and New Zealand dollars in a sign of risk aversion.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.15%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.68% as a decline in oil and copper prices weighed on the resources sector.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index .N225 was up 0.15% after the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) resumed normal trading after its worst-ever outage brought the world’s third-largest equity market to a standstill.

Trump said on Twitter that he and his wife had been tested for coronavirus after Hope Hicks, a senior advisor who recently traveled with the president, tested positive.

If Trump also tested positive, that could cause a new wave of market volatility as investors brace for a hotly-contested presidential election in November.

“It depends on how serious this becomes, and whether or not Trump is actually infected,” said Masayuki Kichikawa, chief macro strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

“The most important thing is we were already worried about an uncertain outcome from the election, and this adds to the uncertainty.”

In addition, a spate of data, including jobless claims and consumer spending, suggested that the plodding U.S. economic recovery could be losing steam.

Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq NQc1 also fell 0.4% in Asian trading. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was little changed at 0.6709%.

There was a brief jump in trading volumes