Oil edges up toward $49

A woman wears visual reality glasses at the British Petroleum (BP) stand on July 11, 2017 during 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. Oil major bosses and energy ministers are meeting at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, with the outlook clouded by the low price of crude oil, currently trading at around 45 dollars a barrel compared with a peak of over 145 dollars in 2008. (AFP / OZAN KOSE)
Updated 18 July 2017

Oil edges up toward $49

NEW YORK: Oil prices were little changed on Monday as output increases in some top producers eased, but investors continued to await strong indications that the effort led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to drain a glut was proving effective.
Libya’s national oil production stands at 1.03 million barrels per day (bpd), little changed from its level since the end of last month, an oil industry official said.
US drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday. Rig additions over the past four weeks averaged five, the slowest pace of growth since November.
Key technical indicators are bullish, with prices rising above the short-term 50-day moving averages, traders said.
Brent crude fell 24 cents to $48.67 a barrel by 11:51 a.m. EDT (1551 GMT). US crude traded at $46.21, down 33 cents. Prices had earlier touched their highest since July 5.
A sharp drop in US crude inventories in the week to July 7 supported prices last week. But crude stocks in industrialized nations remained high, putting a brake on the oil price rally.
US gasoline margins rose to the highest since April 24 amid signs of improved demand and inventory declines, traders said.
Oil prices are less than half their mid-2014 level because of a persistent glut, even after OPEC with Russia and other non-OPEC producers cut supplies since January.
While OPEC-led cuts have offered prices some support, rising supplies from Nigeria along with Libya, two OPEC states exempt from the pact, and increasing US production have weighed on the market.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and China give EU trade reforms thumbs down at WTO

Updated 29 min 40 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, Russia and China give EU trade reforms thumbs down at WTO

  • China is suing US and EU at WTO
  • Kingdom warns new rules are concerning

The EU’s new rules against countries dumping cheap goods on its market got a rough ride at a World Trade Organization meeting, where China, Russia and Saudi Arabia led a chorus of disapproval, a trade official said on Thursday.

The EU, which is in a major dispute with China about the fairness of Chinese pricing, introduced rules last December that allow it to take into account “significant distortions” in prices caused by government intervention.

A Chinese trade official told the WTO’s anti-dumping committee that Beijing had deep concerns about the new methodology, saying it would damage the WTO’s anti-dumping system and increase uncertainty for exporters, an official who attended the meeting said.

China argued that the concept of “significant distortion” did not exist under WTO rules, and the EU should base its dumping investigations on domestic prices in countries of origin, such as China.

The EU reformed its rules in the hope they would allow it to keep shielding its markets from cheap Chinese imports while fending off a Chinese legal challenge at the WTO.
China said that when it joined the WTO in 2001, the other member countries agreed that after 15 years they would treat it as a market economy, taking its prices at face value.

But the US and the EU have refused, saying China still subsidises some industries, such as steel and aluminum, which have massive overcapacity and spew vast supplies onto the world market, making it impossible for others to compete.

China is suing both the US and the EU at the WTO to try to force them to change their rules.

Legal experts say the dispute is one of the most important in the 23-year history of the WTO, because it pits the major trading blocs against each other with fundamentally opposing views of how the global trade rules should work.

In the WTO committee meeting, Saudi Arabia said the new rules were very concerning, and it challenged the EU to explain how EU authorities could ensure a fair and objective assessment of “significant distortion.”

Russia said the EU rules violated the WTO rulebook and certain aspects were unclear and created great uncertainty for exporters. Bahrain, Argentina, Kazakhstan and Oman also expressed concerns.

But a US trade official said the discussion showed that appropriate tools were available within the WTO to address distortions affecting international trade.