Oil prices fall as trade war concerns hit demand outlook

An oil worker removes a thread cap from a piece of drill pipe on a drilling lease owned by Elevation Resources near Midland, Texas. (Reuters)
Updated 06 August 2019

Oil prices fall as trade war concerns hit demand outlook

  • Threat of more US tariffs could limit crude demand from the world’s two biggest buyers

LONDON: Oil prices fell on Monday on global growth concerns after US President Donald Trump threatened China with more tariffs, which could limit crude demand from the world’s two biggest buyers. Brent crude futures were down 71 cents, or 1.15 percent, to $61.18 per barrel by 1050 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 56 cents, or 1.01 percent, to $55.10 a barrel.
“The escalation of trade measures only reinforces concerns over global economic growth and hence by extension global oil demand growth,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London. “(But) supply fundamentals are tightening and are supportive for oil prices.”
Both crude benchmarks fell last week, with Brent down 2.5 percent and US crude falling 1 percent after plummeting by more than 7 percent on Thursday after Trump’s tweet to the lowest level in about seven weeks.
Asian equity markets dropped to a six-month low on Monday while gold prices climbed as investors sought safe-haven assets.
Trump last week said he would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports starting on Sept. 1 and said he could raise duties further if China’s President Xi Jinping failed to move more quickly toward a trade deal.

Trade dispute
The announcement extends US tariffs to nearly all imported Chinese products. China on Friday vowed to fight back against Trump’s decision, a move that ended a month-long trade truce.
On Monday, China let the yuan tumble beyond the 7-per-dollar level for the first time in more than a decade, in a sign Beijing may tolerate further currency weakness because of the trade dispute.
A lower yuan would raise the cost of dollar-denominated oil imports in China, the world’s biggest crude oil importer.

HIGHLIGHT

Both crude benchmarks fell last week, with Brent down 2.5 percent and US crude falling 1 percent after plummeting by more than 7 percent on Thursday.

Signs of rising oil exports from the US also pressured prices on Monday. US shipments surged by 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June to a monthly record of 3.16 million bpd, US Census Bureau data showed on Friday.
The US weekly oil rig count, an indicator of future production, fell for a fifth week in a row as most independent producers cut spending even though majors were still pushing ahead with investments in new drilling.
Iran’s seizure of an Iraqi oil tanker raised some concerns about potential Middle East supply disruptions in the Gulf, with Iranian state media reporting on Sunday that its Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized the ship for smuggling fuel.


Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

This June 23, 2018 photo, shows a general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2020

Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

  • Saudi Arabia is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic

RIYADH: The boss of one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest banks says that getting more women into leadership positions is a top priority.
Samba CEO Rania Nashar chairs the action council for Women in Business created by the Business Twenty (B20), which is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. It represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.
She said the council was set up to boost women’s particpation not only in business but also in global leadership positions.
During the launch of the B20 in Saudi Arabia this week, Nashar highlighted the under-representation of women in the economy.
“There is a gap of 27 percent between male and female workers; 75 percent of males are part of the labor force while only 48 percent of females are working,” she said.
She said it was important not to just talk about women as workers but as business owners.

FASTFACT

Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020.

“That’s why entrepreneurship is very fundamental to our task force,” she said.  “The majority of the finance development programs have incentives for giving loans to females; however, despite the fact that many large borrowers are females, the amount of loans granted to them is far below what is granted to males,” she added.
Nashar said that two-thirds of female business founders feel that they were not taken seriously by investors when they pitch for investments. They also feel that they are treated differently from their male counterparts.
Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020. The Kingdom is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic.