Saudi Arabia monitoring oil markets closely, prepared for additional measures

Global oil demand will fall by a record amount this year as lockdown measures imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak bring the economy to a virtual halt, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on April 15, 2020. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 21 April 2020

Saudi Arabia monitoring oil markets closely, prepared for additional measures

  • Saudi Arabia is prepared to take any additional measures in partnership with OPEC+ members and other producers
  • It also affirmed its cooperation with Russia is committed to implement the targeted reductions agreed upon for the next two years

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet said it is continuing to closely monitor the oil market conditions and is prepared to take any additional measures in partnership with OPEC+ members and other producers, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported Tuesday.
The Cabinet also discussed the Kingdom’s efforts in its endeavor to achieve stability for the petroleum market, and its cooperation with Russia is committed to implement the targeted reductions agreed upon for the next two years.

Under the deal, Riyadh and Moscow will cut 2.5 million barrels per day each.
The OPEC+ group of major producers last week agreed record production cuts of 9.7 million bpd to prop up prices that had shed more than 60 percent as the COVID-19 illness shut down businesses worldwide.
Producers outside the alliance pledged to cut an additional 3.7 million bpd.
But that was not enough to prevent crude prices plunging into negative territory for the first time on Monday.

(with Agencies)


US firms awake to ‘sad day’ in Hong Kong as Trump cuts ties

Updated 13 min 1 sec ago

US firms awake to ‘sad day’ in Hong Kong as Trump cuts ties

  • President moves to strip finance hub of economic privileges in wake of tough new Chinese security laws

HONG KONG: The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said on Saturday it was a sad day for the global financial center, hours after US President Donald Trump moved toward stripping the city of its special treatment in a bid to punish China.

In some of his toughest rhetoric yet, Trump said Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy by proposing new national security legislation and the territory no longer warranted US economic privileges.

“We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China,” Trump said, adding that Washington would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for “smothering — absolutely smothering — Hong Kong’s freedom.”

Speaking at the White House, Trump said China’s move on Hong Kong was a tragedy for the world.

But Trump gave no timetable for the moves, leaving Hong Kong residents, businesses and officials to ponder just how far his administration will go. “This is an emotional moment for Americans in Hong Kong and it will take companies and families a while to digest the ramifications,” AmCham President Tara Joseph said in a statement.

“Many of us have deep ties to this city and with Hong Kong people. We love Hong Kong and it’s a sad day,” she said, adding the chamber would continue to work with its members to maintain Hong Kong’s status as a vital business center.

China’s parliament this week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference. Mainland security and intelligence agents may be stationed in the city for the first time — moves critics say puts the city’s extensive freedoms at risk.

Trump did not name any sanctions targets but said the announcement would “affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong,” including the US-Hong Kong extradition treaty to export controls on dual-use technologies and more “with few exceptions.”

China’s Global Times, which is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said Trump’s decision was a “recklessly arbitrary” step.

The Hong Kong government, which has a long history of working ties with US counterparts distinct from Beijing, has yet to respond, although it warned on Thursday the move could be a double edged sword.

More than 1,300 US firms have offices in Hong Kong and provide about 100,000 jobs. In the past decade, the US trade surplus with Hong Kong has been the biggest among all its trading partners, totaling $297 billion from 2009 to 2018.

Britain, meanwhile, is prepared to offer extended visa rights and a pathway to citizenship for almost 3 million Hong Kong residents in response to China’s push to impose national security legislation in the former British colony.