Oil prices up, Asian shares fall, trading muted with Good Friday holidays

Oil prices up, Asian shares fall, trading muted with Good Friday holidays
Benchmarks declined in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. Sydney, Manila, Bangkok and Hong Kong were among markets observing holidays on Friday. US and European markets also were closed. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 April 2022

Oil prices up, Asian shares fall, trading muted with Good Friday holidays

Oil prices up, Asian shares fall, trading muted with Good Friday holidays

TOKYO: Asian shares fell in muted trading as markets were closed for Good Friday and other holidays.

Benchmark US crude oil for May delivery rose $2.70 to $106.95 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude for June delivery rose $2.92 to $111.70 a barrel.
Wholesale gasoline for May delivery rose 9 cents to $3.38 a gallon. May heating oil rose 13 cents to $3.85 a gallon. May natural gas rose 30 cents to $7.30 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold for June delivery fell $9.80 to $1,974.90 an ounce. Silver for May delivery fell 33 cents to $25.70 an ounce and May copper rose 1 cent to $4.72 a pound.
Benchmarks declined in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. Sydney, Manila, Bangkok and Hong Kong were among markets observing holidays on Friday. US and European markets also were closed.
Shutdowns in major Chinese cities due to coronavirus outbreaks and the war in Ukraine are weighing on sentiment.
“The Russia-Ukraine conflict inflation effects are now more meaningful than direct military developments in a market sense. These consequences have fabricated an uncertain environment that could keep investors wary,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.
“It should be a quiet session given the Good Friday holidays,” he added.
The head of the International Monetary Fund warned Thursday that Russia’s war against Ukraine was darkening the outlook for most countries and reaffirmed the danger high inflation presents to the global economy.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 percent to finish at 27,093.19. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.8 percent to 2,696.06. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 percent to 3,211.24.
Stocks closed lower on Wall Street on Thursday as investors gave mixed reviews to earnings from four of the nation’s largest banks. The S&P 500 fell 1.2 percent to 4,392.59, ending a shortened trading week with a 2.1 percent decline.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 percent to 34,451.23. The Nasdaq fell 2.1 percent to 13,351.08. Smaller company stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 fell 1 percent to 2,004.98.
A quartet of big banks reported noticeable declines in their first-quarter profits as the latest earnings season kicks into gear. Volatile markets and the war in Ukraine caused deal-making to dry up while a slowdown in the housing market meant fewer people sought mortgages.
Citigroup rose 1.6 percent while Wells Fargo fell 4.5 percent. Morgan Stanley rose 0.7 percent and Goldman Sachs slipped 0.1 percent.
Bond yields rose again, sending the 10-year Treasury yield to 2.83 percent.
“With higher oil prices, higher bond yields, (it) implies the market continues to worry about inflation, worried about Ukraine, worried about the Fed’s response to all of this,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
Technology stocks led the way lower Thursday, offsetting gains elsewhere in the market. Pricey valuations for many of the bigger technology companies give them more sway in directing the broader market higher or lower. Microsoft fell 2.7 percent.
Retailers and other companies that rely on consumer spending also weighed on the market. Amazon fell 2.5 percent. Energy stocks rose along with the price of crude oil. Exxon Mobil rose 1.2 percent.
Investors again turned their attention to the drama surrounding Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk and Twitter. Musk offered to buy the social media company for $54.20 a share, two weeks after revealing he’d accumulated a 9 percent stake.
Musk has criticized Twitter for not living up to free speech principles and said, in a regulatory filing, that it needs to be transformed as a private company. Twitter’s stock fell 1.7 percent at $45.08, well below Musk’s offering price.
Wall Street had mixed economic data to review following several hot inflation reports earlier in the week. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.5 percent in March, boosted by higher prices for gasoline, as consumers continue to spend despite high inflation.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits ticked up last week, according to the Labor Department, but remained at a historically low level. The data reflect a robust US labor market with near record-high job openings and few layoffs.
Inflation remains at its highest levels in 40 years in the US and that has economists and analysts closely watching how consumers react to higher prices on everything from food to clothing and gasoline.
In energy trading, benchmark US crude added $2.70 to $106.95 a barrel on Thursday, closing nearly 11 percent higher for the week. Brent crude, the international standard, gained $2.92 to $111.70 a barrel. Markets were closed Friday.
In currency trading, the US dollar rose to 126.65 Japanese yen from 125.89 yen. It is hovering near 20-year highs. The euro cost $1.0815, down from $1.0832.


Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output
Updated 12 sec ago

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

Oil Updates — Crude slips on recession fear; Algeria’s oil, gas earnings climb; Planned strike could cut Norwegian gas output

RIYADH: Oil prices fell on Monday, paring gains from the previous session, as fears of a global recession weighed on the market even as supply remains tight amid lower OPEC output, unrest in Libya and sanctions on Russia.

Brent crude futures for September slipped 36 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $111.27 a barrel at 0300 GMT, having jumped 2.4 percent on Friday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for August delivery dropped 34 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $108.09 a barrel, after climbing 2.5 percent on Friday.

Algeria’s oil, gas earnings up 70 percent in first five months of 2022

Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022, compared to $12.6 billion in the same period last year, an executive at state oil and gas producer Sonatrach told reporters on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Sonatrach’s CEO, Tewfik Hakkar told reporters on Sunday that the country is negotiating with all its clients to review gas prices. 

Hakkar added that the review of the prices is not targeting a single company or country.

Norway strike could cut gas output by 13 percent next week

A planned strike next week by Norwegian energy sector workers could cut the country’s gas output by 292,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 13 percent of output, employers’ group the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said on Sunday.

Oil output could be cut by 130,000 barrels per day, NOG added, corresponding to around 6.5 percent of Norway’s production, according to a Reuters calculation.

The strike, in which workers are demanding wage hikes to compensate for rising inflation, comes at a time of high oil and gas prices, with supplies of natural gas to Europe particularly tight after Russian export cutbacks.

Members of the Lederne labor union, who make up around 15 percent of the country’s offshore petroleum workers, on Thursday voted down a proposed wage agreement that had been negotiated by companies and union leaders.

As a result, they plan to begin a strike at three offshore fields on July 5, and to add three more fields the following day unless a solution is found.

A seventh field, Tyrihans, will have to shut down because its output is processed from the nearby Kristin field, which will shut down.

The parties have been talking, but no progress has been made.

(With inputs from Reuters)


GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears
Updated 24 min 19 sec ago

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

GCC stocks down for second straight month in June amid recession fears

RIYADH: Stock exchanges in the Gulf Cooperation Council states logged their second straight monthly decline in June as fears over inflation and recession rattled investors.

MSCI GCC Index, which captures the performance of indexes across the region, was down 9 percent as it exited its worst month so far this year, a report by Kamco Invest revealed.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia posted the biggest drop of nearly 11 percent, followed by Abu Dhabi and Qatar with declines of 6.8 and 5.6 percent, respectively.

The Omani benchmark index bucked the trend to close slightly higher, securing a 0.2-percent gain.

This happened amid worries about rising inflation and interest rate hikes as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and China’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

That said, the aggregate index is up 2.8 percent in terms of year-to-date gains, having performed four straight months in the green before dropping in May.


REVIEW: Circlys - saving platform

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 03 July 2022

REVIEW: Circlys - saving platform

Photo/Supplied
  • Eligible members must have accounts documented through the national information center “Nafath,” have a fixed income and a Saudi bank account

Many people when they have a certain income worry about having a proper amount of savings in their bank accounts.

Saving is known to be one of the best steps toward a healthy financial status and there are many ways to go about it.

One example is Circlys, an official Saudi closed joint-stock company, headquartered in Riyadh and specializing in financial technology.

It is a certified cooperative saving application provided for customers in Saudi Arabia under the supervision of the Saudi Central Bank, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Investment.

Eligible members must have accounts documented through the national information center “Nafath,” have a fixed income and a Saudi bank account. Every subscriber must sign a claim in case of defaulting and to guarantee their rights.

Circlys offers different saving opportunities throughout the year with durations varying between six and 12 months. Monthly shares start at SR500. Subscribers can choose the month they would like to receive the sum they register to get, and payments from each subscriber are deducted based on their salary period. Amounts will be received within three days after the salary receiving date.

The idea of the saving platform is inspired by a common saving concept in the Arab region called “Jamea’a,” where a group of three or more individuals agrees on saving the same amount of money in turns, provided that each individual pays the agreed-upon amount in the specified time. It is not permissible to breach the deadline or evade payment.

With a 4.7 rating by users, the savings platform has more than 180,000 beneficiaries and 10,000 saving circles. The phone app is available in English and Arabic on Android and iOS. For more information, visit circlys.com


Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients

Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients
Updated 03 July 2022

Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients

Algeria to review gas prices with all its clients
  • Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022

ALGIERS: Algeria is negotiating with all its clients to review gas prices, state oil and gas producer Sonatrach’s CEO, Tewfik Hakkar, told reporters on Sunday.

Hakkar added that the review of the prices is not targeting a single company or country.

The statement comes almost a week after Spain began re-exporting gas to Morocco in reverse flow via the Gazoduc Maghreb-Europe pipeline, marking the first direct flow of piped gas from Europe to Africa.

Spain and Morocco agreed earlier this year to consider using the GME pipeline for reverse flow to the North African country with the gas to be sourced from the global LNG market.

On Nov. 1, Algeria, which has cut off diplomatic ties with Morocco, stopped supplying natural gas to its neighboring country through the GME pipeline.

Algeria is now supplying Spain using the Medgaz undersea pipeline with an annual capacity of 8 billion cubic meters, which does not go through Morocco.

Earnings up

Algeria’s oil and gas earnings are up 70 percent and have reached $21.5 billion in the five first months of 2022, compared to $12.6 billion in the same period last year, an executive at state oil and gas producer Sonatrach told reporters on Sunday.

Along with gas, Algeria is a large oil producer with 12.2 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. The country exports 540,000 barrels per day of its total production of about 1.1 million bpd. All proven oil reserves are held onshore, though offshore exploration is in the early stages.


NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May

NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May
Updated 03 July 2022

NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May

NRG Matters: DEWA expands its energy production capacity; Germany cuts natural gas consumption by 35% in May

RIYADH: On a macro level, Germany reduced consumption of natural gas by 35 percent in May. Zooming in, Dubai’s DEWA added 700MW of energy production capacity, to reach a total of 14,117 MW. 

Looking at the bigger picture

  • Germany has reduced its consumption of natural gas by 35 percent during the first five months of 2022, compared to the same period last year, Bloomberg reported citing an industry lobby group. Only part of the drop was due to a milder winter, it added. 

Through a micro lens:

  • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has added 700 MW of energy production capacity, to reach a total of 14,117 MW, according to the Dubai Media Office. 

This includes 600 MW from the Hassyan Power Complex, which runs on natural gas, and 100 MW from photovoltaic solar panels at the 5th phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, which DEWA is implementing.

  • The Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority has issued a construction license to build the first reactor at Al Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant, according to a statement.

On Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, the El Dabaa site is 320 km west of Cairo. The plant will comprise four VVER-1200 units, like those already in operation at the Leningrad and Novovoronezh nuclear power plants in Russia, and the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus.