Departing UK infrastructure czar vows to fight Brexit

Pro-European Union, (EU), anti-Brexit demonstrators hold Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in central London, in this December 21, 2017 photo. (AFP)
Updated 31 December 2017
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Departing UK infrastructure czar vows to fight Brexit

LONDON: Britain's outgoing infrastructure chief is vowing to fight Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit policy.
Andrew Adonis said Saturday he will campaign next year to keep Britain inside the EU because following May's Brexit plans may lead to economic calamity.
“Very few of the people who voted for Brexit voted, I believe, to make themselves poorer,” he told BBC radio.
Adonis resigned Friday night as chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission to protest May's Brexit policy.
The Labour Party peer is urging other senior figures to speak out against Brexit, which he said would rip Britain out of its key trading alliances.
Britain voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the EU, but negotiations toward a new trading agreement with EU nations have been slowed by disputes.


Oil prices drop amid surprise jump in US stockpiles

Updated 52 min 23 sec ago
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Oil prices drop amid surprise jump in US stockpiles

  • US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $67.72
  • On the demand-side, intensifying risks over trade tensions between the US and China could drag on the global economic outlook, BMI Research said

TOKYO: Oil prices dropped on Wednesday after an industry group reported that US crude inventories rose last week, defying analyst expectations for a significant reduction.
Brent futures were down 31 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $71.85 a barrel by 0240 GMT. They rose 32 cents to $72.16 a barrel on Tuesday, after earlier touching a three-month low.
US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $67.72. It settled up 2 cents at $68.08 a barrel the session before, coming off a nearly one-month low.
The benchmarks had steadied after big declines on Monday and last week as supply disruptions in Venezuela came to the fore and as analysts had been forecasting a decline of 3.6 million barrels in US inventories for the week through July 13.
But the specter of oversupply quickly returned, with a rise of more than 600,000 barrels in US crude stockpiles, reported by the American Petroleum Institute late on Tuesday.
Official numbers from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration are due at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday.
On the demand-side, intensifying risks over trade tensions between the US and China could drag on the global economic outlook, BMI Research said.
“Despite US-China trade tensions, the economic outlook is broadly positive, but a number of headwinds are emerging, not least a stronger dollar, rising inflationary pressures and tightening liquidity,” BMI said.
“Slowing trade growth will weigh on physical demand for oil, with the shipping, road and air freight sectors an important pillar of demand globally,” BMI said.
One US central banker added her voice late on Tuesday to those sounding caution on trade.
Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George said that uncertainty over US trade policy could slow the economy, even if the recently imposed tariffs in and of themselves are too small to have a big impact.
George called trade policy a “significant” downside risk to her outlook for economic growth, even as tax cuts and other fiscal policy is an upside risk.