Oil market stabilizing: Saudi energy minister

Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih
Updated 10 July 2016
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Oil market stabilizing: Saudi energy minister

JEDDAH: Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Sunday the oil market was becoming more balanced and prices were stabilizing.
Al-Falih said Saudi Arabia would always strive to stabilize the oil market, a statement by the energy ministry added.
“In doing so, the Kingdom secures the flow of oil supplies as it retains a spare production capacity,” the minister, attending a climate meeting in Berlin, was quoted as saying in the statement.
His remarks echo earlier comments made on Monday by the Saudi minister in Dhahran at a meeting with newly appointed OPEC secretary general, Mohammed Barkindo.
Crude prices inched up in choppy trading on Friday but Brent notched its largest weekly drop in nearly six months.
Brent crude futures ended the session up 36 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $46.76 per barrel, after trading between $47.23 and $46.15.
US crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled up 27 cents at $45.41, compared with an earlier drop to $44.77 and a high of $45.97.
Both benchmarks were down nearly 8 percent for the week — the largest weekly slide for Brent since January and the biggest weekly drop for WTI since February.
Crude futures remain some 75 percent above 12-year lows of $27 for Brent and $26 for WTI hit in the first quarter.
But the market has gyrated since hitting above $50 as a glut of refined products replaced worries about crude oversupply that caused a near two-year long tumble earlier.
Futures hit two-month lows on Thursday, with WTI breaking below key support of $45.83 after weekly drawdowns in US crude looked inadequate to assuage investor concerns.


Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

Updated 19 September 2018
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Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

  • Biggest index drop in Egypt since mid-2016
  • Saudi Arabia outperforms in Gulf

LONDON: Egyptian stocks tumbled to their lowest level this year on Wednesday as retail investors took flight.
A sharp rise in Suez Canal revenues, a major foreign exchange earner for the country, was not enough to quell investors concerns about the strength of the currency.
The main Egyptian stock index lost 3.8 percent which some fund managers blamed on generally negative sentiment toward emerging markets worldwide as well as more local speculation about possible currency devaluation.
“Our channel checks suggest the sell-off in the Egyptian market is local retail and institutions driven, on currency fears and speculation over a further round of devaluation,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal in Dubai, Reuters reported.
“Selling is further intensified as margin calls are triggered and technical support levels break down. The country canceled three consecutive Treasury auctions, citing investors’ unrealistic yield demands.”
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues rose to $502.2 million in August up 6.7 percent from a year earlier according to official data released on Wednesday.
Elsewhere regional stock markets closed mostly lower with the exceptions of Abu Dhabi which edged 0.2 percent higher and Saudi Arabia, the best regional performer, which rose by 1.1 percent.
Saudi stocks are benefiting from the strong oil price which eased slightly yesterday but still hovered just under $79.
OPEC and some other oil producers including Russia will meet in Algeria on Sept. 23 to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of oil exports from Iran following the introduction of sanctions by the US.
Those measures will come into force on Nov. 4 and data suggests that buyers are already retreating from Iranian crude purchases.
A key question for the oil price as well as regional stock markets in the weeks ahead will be the extent to which other Gulf oil exporters can compenaste for the loss of Iranian supplies by pumping more.