Oil prices set for worst daily drop since April on inventories, bearish Fed

A flare burns excess natural gas in the Permian Basin, in Loving County, Texas, US, November 23, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 11 June 2020

Oil prices set for worst daily drop since April on inventories, bearish Fed

  • Analyst Paola Rodriguez Masiu: Prices are once again under pressure as concerns over the pace of the demand recovery intensified
  • US crude inventories rose unexpectedly by 5.7 million barrels in the week to June 5 to 538.1 million barrels

LONDON: Oil prices slumped on Thursday, dragged down by another record build-up in US crude inventories and the US Federal Reserve’s projections that the world’s biggest economy would shrink 6.5% this year.
Brent crude futures erased Wednesday’s gains, falling 6.6%, or $2.74, to $38.99 a barrel by 1342 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 7.6%, or $3.02, to $36.58 a barrel.
Both benchmarks are set for their worst daily drops since April 21 and 27, respectively.
“Prices are once again under pressure as concerns over the pace of the demand recovery intensified,” said Rystad Energy’s oil markets analyst Paola Rodriguez Masiu.
US crude inventories rose unexpectedly by 5.7 million barrels in the week to June 5 to 538.1 million barrels — a record — as imports were boosted by the arrival of supplies bought by refiners when Saudi Arabia flooded the market in March and April, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed.
It also showed gasoline stockpiles grew more than expected to 258.7 million barrels. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.6 million barrels, although the increase was smaller than in previous weeks.
Adding to the pressure on prices, the US Federal Reserve said US unemployment was set to reach 9.3% at the end of 2020 and it would take years to fall back, while interest rates were expected to stay near zero at least through next year.
Total US coronavirus cases topped 2 million on Wednesday, with new infections rising slightly after five weeks of declines, according to a Reuters analysis.
“No significant price relief is anticipated in 2020 but next year promises to become tighter due to improving consumption,” said PVM oil analyst Tmas Varga.
“For this forecast to prove accurate, however, assistance is required from the world’s swing producers. OPEC+ needs to stick to the April deal and keep its agreed 5.8 mbpd output restraints below the October 2018 baseline all through next year.”


Proposals to cut expats in Kuwait reviewed by National Assembly committee

Updated 10 August 2020

Proposals to cut expats in Kuwait reviewed by National Assembly committee

  • One of the seven plans submitted by members of parliament calls to set a percentage for each migrant community in the country
  • The Kuwaiti government’s plan calls to replace about 160,000 expat working in the public sector with nationals

DUBAI: Thousands of expats in Kuwait are expected to leave the country as talks over the decision have started between the government and the National Assembly human resources committee.
The government and parliamentary proposals are being reviewed by the committee, national daily Kuwait Times reported.
One of the seven plans submitted by members of parliament calls to set a percentage for each migrant community in the country.
The Kuwaiti government’s plan also calls to replace about 160,000 expat working in the public sector with nationals, but did not provide a timeframe.
The proposal also suggests that about 370,000 expats who show a “negative impact” on the country or are illegal residents can be dismissed by taking short-term measures.
The government added in its plan that “marginal” workers should be reduced by 25 percent. It also expects to lower temporary employment contracts by 30 percent in government jobs.
The government also discussed the massive increase in the expat population in the country between 2005 and 2019, as it went up to 4.42 million. It added that during this time, the citizens’ population increased from 860,000 to 1.335 million.