Oil rises above $62 on hopes for US-China trade deal

Women walk past a wall displaying Chinese and Western graffitis outside a shopping mall in Shenzhen, China’s Guangdong province. (AP)
Updated 08 November 2019

Oil rises above $62 on hopes for US-China trade deal

  • Hopes rise for end to tariff dispute that has weighed on economic growth and demand for fuel

LONDON: Oil rose above $62 a barrel on Thursday after China hinted at progress toward a trade deal with the US, raising hopes for an end to a long dispute that has weighed on economic growth and demand for fuel.

China and the US have agreed in the past two weeks to cancel tariffs in different phases, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

The trade dispute has
prompted analysts to lower forecasts for oil demand and raised concerns that a supply glut could develop in 2020. Oil fell on Wednesday, partly because of worries that a US-China trade deal might be delayed.

“Today we start with a different set of headlines that they came to some agreement on the framework,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix. “That is definitely what is supporting prices.”

Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 76 cents to $62.50 a barrel by 1444 GMT after settling down $1.22 on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 92 cents to $57.27.

Beijing’s comments boosted market sentiment, which had also been ruffled by Wednesday’s US government supply report showing crude inventories rose last week by 7.9 million barrels, much more than expected by analysts.

Brent has rallied 15 percent in 2019, supported by a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Counties and allies such as Russia to limit supplies until March next year. The producers meet on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna to review the policy.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said this week he was more optimistic about the outlook for 2020 because of developments on trade disputes, appearing to downplay any need to cut output more deeply.

Still, doubts about a trade deal could resurface, analysts said. Reuters reported on Wednesday a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign the deal could be delayed to December, contributing to oil’s decline.

“Doubts are not yet turning into full-blown concerns,” said Craig Erlam, analyst at brokerage OANDA. “If a date isn’t set in stone soon though, that may come.”


Natixis opens investment banking office in Saudi Arabia

Updated 31 May 2020

Natixis opens investment banking office in Saudi Arabia

  • Western financial institutions have been seeking opportunities in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: French investment bank Natixis has opened a corporate and investment banking office in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and appointed former JPMorgan banker Reema Al-Asmari as its chief executive officer, the bank said on Sunday.
Western financial institutions have been seeking opportunities in Saudi Arabia since the government unveiled plans to privatize state assets and introduced reforms to attract foreign capital under its Vision 2030 program to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil.
“By establishing a local presence, Natixis aims to deepen its relationships with its existing clients, including corporates, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions, and to serve new clients, including family offices,” Natixis said in a statement.
The bank’s office, located in Al Faisaliah Tower, will offer “tailor-made capital markets products and investment banking services.”
Al-Asmari, who joined Natixis last August as an adviser to the bank’s Dubai branch, will continue to report to Simon Eedle, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking’s regional head for the Middle East.
Eedle said in a statement that the bank’s commitment to the Middle East dated back more than 20 years and he believed its areas of expertise were closely aligned with the needs of clients in the region. “This is very much the case for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, notably in the context of Vision 2030,” he said, adding it was a “pivotal time” for the kingdom.