Oil stable amid cautious optimism over Trump, Kim summit in Singapore

US output has risen by almost a third in the last two years, to a record of 10.8 million barrels per day. (Reuters)
Updated 12 June 2018
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Oil stable amid cautious optimism over Trump, Kim summit in Singapore

SINGAPORE: Oil markets were stable on Tuesday amid cautious optimism over the outcome of a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
Movements in crude markets were also limited ahead of a meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some of its allies on June 22 that may determine the crude production policy of several major producers.
Brent crude futures were trading at $76.45 per barrel at 0355 GMT, little changed from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.16 a barrel, up 6 cents from their last settlement.
Crude has been supported by healthy demand and voluntary production cuts led by OPEC, but analysts said oil markets were also currently heavily driven by public policy events and statements.
Trump and Kim on Tuesday met for a one-day summit in Singapore with the goal to narrow differences over how to end a nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula, with Trump stating he had forged a “good relationship” with the North Korean leader.
“And today marks the potentially momentous meeting between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore,” said Shannon Rivkin, investment director at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
Global markets edged up as the highly anticipated summit got underway amid expressions of goodwill.
“Any positive outcome could be good news for markets,” Rivkin added.
Oil market fundamentals, however, point to lower prices, with output from the three biggest producers, Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia on the rise.
Russian production has reportedly climbed from below 11 million barrels per day (bpd) to 11.1 million bpd in early June.
In the United States, output has risen by almost a third in the last two years, to a record of 10.8 million bpd.
“The deluge of US crude production continues to hold the top-side in check,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at futures brokerage OANDA.
Now, top exporter Saudi Arabia — which has so far led OPEC’s efforts to withhold supplies — is also showing signs of raising production.
Saudi Arabia has told OPEC that it increased oil output to a little more than 10 million bpd in May, up from 9.9 million bpd in April.
“This fits with the theory that the Saudis and Russians are subtly moving toward a change to the agreement at this month’s meeting,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.
OPEC, together with some non-OPEC producers including Russia, started withholding output in 2017 to end a global supply overhang and prop up prices.
OPEC and its partners are due to meet at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, to discuss policy.
“Expect more of the same whippy markets driven by rumors and innuendo ahead of the June 22 Vienna OPEC meeting,” Innes said.


OECD warns of global economic slowdown

Updated 21 November 2018
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OECD warns of global economic slowdown

  • ‘We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system’
  • Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year

PARIS: The global economy has peaked and faces a slowdown driven by international trade tensions and tighter monetary conditions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Wednesday.
The OECD, which groups the top developed economies, said it had trimmed its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5 percent from the previous 3.7 percent.
The 2018 estimate was left unchanged at 3.7 percent.
For 2020, the global economy should grow 3.5 percent, it said in its latest Economic Outlook report.
“The shakier outlook in 2019 reflects deteriorating prospects, principally in emerging markets such as Turkey, Argentina and Brazil,” it said.
“The further slowdown in 2020 is more a reflection of developments in advanced economies as slower trade and lower fiscal and monetary support take their toll.”
OECD chief Angel Gurria highlighted problems caused by trade conflicts and political uncertainty — an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s stand-off with China which has roiled the markets.
“We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system,” Gurria said in a statement.
Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year, the Economic Outlook report said.
If Washington were to hike tariffs to 25 percent on all Chinese imports — as Trump has threatened to do — world economic growth could fall to close to three percent in 2020.
Growth rates would drop by an estimated 0.8 percent in the US and by 0.6 percent in China, it added.
For the moment, the OECD puts US economic growth at 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2019, unchanged from previous estimates, but trimmed China by 0.1 percentage point each to 6.6 percent and 6.3 percent.
It warned that “a much sharper slowdown in Chinese growth would damage global growth significantly, particularly if it were to hit financial market confidence.”
Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist, said “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”