Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months
US energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, in a record 23-month streak of increases. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 26 June 2022

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

Oil Updates — Oil settled up; G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price; US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

RIYADH: Oil prices settled up by more than $3 a barrel on Friday, supported by tight supply, but they notched their second weekly decline on concern that rising interest rates could push the world economy into recession.

Brent crude settled up $3.07, or 2.8 percent, at $113.12 a barrel by 12:10 p.m. EDT. US West Texas Intermediate crude settled up $3.35, or 3.2 percent, at $107.62.

No government guidance on pricing policy: Incoming Petrobras CEO 

The incoming CEO of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras told a corporate committee he has not received any guidance from the government on changing the firm’s fuel pricing policy, a document showed on Saturday.

Caio Mario Paes de Andrade, a former economy ministry official appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro to run Petrobras, was approved by the eligibility committee on Friday, a key step for him to take the reins of the company.

The minutes of the meeting, published by Petrobras on Saturday, showed the committee had asked Andrade about the company’s pricing policy, a topic that helped bring down three CEOs during Bolsonaro’s tenure as price hikes created tensions with the far-right leader.

“I have no specific or general guidance from the controlling shareholder or any other shareholder in the sense of changing the company’s pricing policy,” Andrade said.

He is on the verge of taking over as CEO a month after he was named by Bolsonaro, awaiting a board vote on June 27.

G7 considering ways of capping Russian oil price

Leaders of the Group of Seven rich democracies are having “very constructive” discussions on a possible cap on Russian oil imports, a German government official said on Saturday shortly before the start of the annual three-day G7 summit.

The proposal is part of broader G7 discussions on how to further crank up the pressure on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine without stoking global inflationary pressures.

The Ukraine war, energy and food shortages and the darkening global economic outlook are expected to dominate the agenda of the summit that is taking place this year in Schloss Elmau, an alpine castle resort in southern Germany.

The US, Canada and Britain have already banned imports of Russian oil while EU leaders have agreed on an embargo that will take full effect by the end-2022 as part of sanctions on the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine.

With energy prices soaring though, the West fears such embargoes will not actually put a dent in Russia’s war chest as the country earns more from exports even as volumes fall.

A price cap could solve that dilemma, while also avoiding further restricting oil supply and fueling inflation, officials say, but for it to work, it requires buy-in from heavy importers like India and China.

“We are on a good path to reach an agreement,” the official said.

The official said the G7 was also discussing the need to combine ambitious climate goals with the need for some countries to explore new gas fields as Europe rushed to wean itself off Russian gas imports.

US drillers add oil and gas rigs for a record 23 months

US energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, in a record 23-month streak of increases, as high crude prices and prodding by the government prompted drillers to return to the well pad.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose 13 to 753 in the week to June 24, its highest since March 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 283, or 60 percent, over this time last year.

US oil rigs rose 10 to 594 this week, their highest since March 2020, while gas rigs gained three to 157, their highest since September 2019.

That put the overall oil and gas rig count up for a record 23 months in a row, gaining 26 in June. It also put the count up for seven quarters in a row, the longest streak of gains since 2011.

The oil rig count was up for a record 22 months in a row, rising 20 in June. It also increased for the seventh quarter, the most quarters since 2012.

The gas rig count rose by six in June, rising for a 10th month in a row, tying the record set in May 2010. It also put the gas count up for seven quarters in a row, matching the record set in 2004.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

 


Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil
Updated 15 sec ago

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

Crypto Moves – Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, falling 3.69 percent to $22,981 as of 7:46 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,683 falling by 5.46 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Coinbase posts loss amid crypto market turmoil

In response to this year’s rout in risky assets, Coinbase Global Inc. reported a bigger than expected quarterly loss after the bell on Tuesday, sending its shares down 6 percent, Reuters reported.

Retail trading fell by 68 percent at the cryptocurrency exchange in the second quarter, while institutional trading dropped by 46 percent.

The cryptocurrency exchange’s trading volumes also dropped more than half to $217 billion.

Despite the collapse of certain crypto ventures and a broad selloff in financial markets, Coinbase expects trading volumes to fall further in the current quarter.

The downturn in 2022 has sent Bitcoin 50 percent lower, forced Coinbase to cut jobs and raised fears of a drop in small-scale trading interest.

In the April-June quarter, Coinbase’s monthly transacting users decreased by 2 percent to 9 million.

Based on Refinitiv data, the adjusted loss for the quarter was $4.76 a share. Analysts had expected $2.65 a share. Market expectations were missed by 63 percent.

Despite a 37 percent increase in operating expenses, the company lowered its technology, development, and administration expenditure forecast to between $4 billion and $4.25 billion from $4 billion to $5 billion.

First cryptocurrency import order from Iran

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim agency reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has registered its first official order to import $10 million worth of cryptocurrency, Reuters reported.

Alireza Peymanpak, head of the country’s Trade Promotion Organization said: “This week, the first official import order registration worth 10 million dollars was successfully completed using cryptocurrency.

“By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries.”

(With inputs from Reuters)

 


Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah

Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah
Updated 26 min 53 sec ago

Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah

Saudi retailer BinDawood launches express stores in Jeddah, Makkah

RIYADH: BinDawood Holding Co., a Saudi-based grocery retail operator of hypermarkets and supermarkets, has opened two Danube Express stores at the Haramain High Speed Railway stations in Jeddah and Makkah.

The opening marks the first express stores with two more to follow in the city of Madinah as well as the King Abdullah Economic City in 2022, the company said.

“The Haramain railway is expected to carry over 60 million passengers annually, and we are thrilled to reach more customers across the Kingdom and introduce them to the Danube experience through the new ‘express’ model,” said Ahmad BinDawood, CEO of BinDawood.

Following the announcement, shares of the retailer rose 1.17 percent to reach SR86.6 ($23) in the early hours of Wednesday.


China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters
Updated 31 min 51 sec ago

China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

China In-Focus — Yuan weakens; Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

RIYADH: The yuan eased on Wednesday, weighed down by signs that China’s COVID-19-hit economy is struggling to regain momentum and by lingering concerns over heightened Sino-US tensions over Taiwan.

The currency’s losses were limited, however, by caution ahead of US inflation data later in the global day, which could provide hints to the Federal Reserve’s plans for future monetary tightening and the direction of the dollar.  

The People’s Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.7612 per dollar prior to the market open, weaker than the previous fix of 6.7584. 

Factory inflation at 17-month low

China’s factory-gate inflation eased to a 17-month low in July, defying global cost pressures as slower domestic construction weighed on raw material demand, although consumer prices picked up pace, driven mostly by tight pork supplies.

The producer price index rose 4.2 percent year-on-year, the National Bureau of Statistics, said on Wednesday, after a 6.1 percent uptick in June and missing analyst forecasts for a 4.8 percent increase.

China’s producer price growth has slowed from a 26-year high hit in October last year, giving policy makers some leeway to stimulate the flagging economy even as central banks elsewhere scramble to hose down rampant inflation with aggressive interest rate hikes.

China’s Lenovo reports slowest revenue growth in eight quarters

Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers, reported flat revenue for the April to June quarter when many Chinese cities were hit by COVID-19 lockdowns, marking its most subdued result in eight quarters.

Total revenue during the period was $16.96 billion, up 0.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago though it was in line with an average Refinitiv estimate of $16.87 billion drawn from seven analysts. That was the smallest quarter-on-quarter increase since the period ending in March 2020.

However, Lenovo has made big strides in expanding into other higher-margin businesses such as server operation, information technology services and mobile devices, with Lenovo’s non-PC business now accounting for 37 percent of the company’s revenue. For the quarter, net income attributable to shareholders rose 11 percent to $516 million.

Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo’s chairman and CEO, said the company is “diversifying from a pure PC business to a company that offers a broad range of intelligent products and solutions.”

(With input from Reuters)

 


MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high
Updated 10 August 2022

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses trade mixed; Abu Dhabi at record high

REUTERS: Major stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Wednesday, ahead of the release of US inflation data that could point to the Federal Reserve’s appetite for more aggressive rate increases.

The Abu Dhabi index touched a record peak, rising 0.7 percent to 10,193 points and bolstered by a 2.1 percent gain in conglomerate International Holding Co. (IHC), which is on course to gain for a fourth session in five.

On Monday, IHC reported a quarterly profit of 6.81 billion dirhams ($1.85 billion), up from 2.87 billion a year earlier, mainly driven by acquisitions.

IHC, which has a market capitalization of more than $167 billion and assets in the fast-growing health care and industrial sectors, is Abu Dhabi’s most valuable listed company.

Elsewhere, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company jumped 4 percent, after reporting a sharp rise in first-half net profit.

Dubai’s main share index eased 0.1 percent, hit by a 1.5 percent fall in its top lender, Emirates NBD.

The bank has given most employees a pay rise of up to 8 percent to help cushion rising costs of living, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Dubai average rental prices for apartments and townhouses rose by 29 percent and 33 percent in the first half of the year and for villas by 64 percent, according to Betterhomes, as the property market continued a strong post-pandemic recovery.

The Dubai index’s losses, however, were limited by a 1.3 percent rise in blue-chip developer Emaar Properties.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark index added 0.1 percent, helped by a 0.5 percent gain in Al Rajhi Bank.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has told at least four North Asian buyers that it will supply full contractual volumes of crude in September, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Shares of Aramco were down 0.5 percent.

The Qatari benchmark dropped 0.4 percent, driven down by a 0.6 percent fall in Qatar Islamic Bank.

Among other losers, Salam International Investment jumped 3.8 percent following a decline in first-half profit.

Crude oil prices, a key catalyst for the Gulf’s financial markets, fell ahead of a key US report on inflation and after industry data showed US crude inventories had unexpectedly risen last week, signalling a potential hiccup in demand.
 


Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften
Updated 10 August 2022

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften

Commodities Update — Gold hovers near one-month peak; Corn down, wheat gains; London base metals soften

RIYADH: Gold prices hovered on Wednesday near their highest level in more than a month, supported by a weaker dollar with investors awaiting US inflation data, which is expected to influence the pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Spot gold held its ground at $1,793.39 per ounce, as of 0318 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 5 at $1,800.29 on Tuesday. US gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,810.

Silver eases

Spot silver eased 0.2 percent to $20.47 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.4 percent to $930.14. 

Palladium edged 0.1 percent higher to $2,217.40.

Corn ease, wheat up

Chicago corn futures eased on Wednesday, as the market took a breather after climbing to a one-week high in the previous session on concerns over hot and dry weather in parts of the US Midwest.

Wheat rose for a third consecutive session, although hopes of more grain exports from Ukraine limited gains.

The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade rose a quarter of a cent to $6.14-1/4 a bushel, as of 0028 GMT, and soybeans slid 0.1 percent to $14.27-1/2 a bushel.

Wheat added 0.5 percent to $7.85-3/4 a bushel.

London base metals soften

Prices of most base metals in London eased on Wednesday after China’s inflation in July hit a two-year high, while investors were braced for continued hawkishness from the Federal Reserve ahead of the highly anticipated US inflation data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange lost 0.8 percent to $7,920.50 a ton by 0309 GMT.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.3 percent to $9,026.33 a ton.

LME zinc fell 1.1 percent to $3,499 a ton, lead lost 0.8 percent to $2,149 a ton, tin declined 0.8 percent to $24,235 a ton.

(With input from Reuters)