Oil Updates — crude slips as demand worries outweigh supply concerns

Oil Updates — crude slips as demand worries outweigh supply concerns
Brent crude was down 19 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $84.23 a barrel by 09:40 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude shed 24 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $79.86. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 29 August 2023
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Oil Updates — crude slips as demand worries outweigh supply concerns

Oil Updates — crude slips as demand worries outweigh supply concerns

SINGAPORE: Oil prices slipped on Tuesday as worries that further possible US interest rate hikes could pull down demand outweighed concerns that a tropical storm off the US Gulf Coast may impact supply.

Brent crude was down 19 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $84.23 a barrel by 09:40 a.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude shed 24 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $79.86.

Investors await key US economic data later this week that will help determine the path of interest rates this year and next. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday said the US central bank may need to raise rates further to cool stubborn inflation.

Markets anticipate an 80 percent chance the Fed standing pat next month, Refinitiv’s FedWatch tool showed, but the probability of a rate hike in November is now seen at roughly 56 percent. 

“It may be difficult for oil prices to maintain the strong bull trend (seen) in July at this stage. The US and European economies will face downward pressure in the fourth quarter until interest rates peak,” said CMC Markets analyst Leon Li.

“So there might be a concern about demand, which puts pressure on oil prices. And China’s economy still hasn’t seen a significant improvement ... Oil prices may remain volatile at this stage, and further increases in the future may require a rebound in Chinese data.”

China’s economic recovery has faltered on the back of a worsening property slump, weak consumer spending and tumbling credit growth, prompting Beijing to cut key policy rates to shore up activity in the world’s second-largest economy and oil consumer.

Prices since the start of the third quarter are up about 12 percent and 13 percent for Brent and WTI, respectively, following production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, said analysts at National Australia Bank in a Tuesday note.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Idalia lashed western Cuba on Monday and was almost a hurricane as it headed toward Florida. The storm is likely to cause power outages and could impact crude production on the eastern side of US Gulf Coast.

This week the focus will also be on the US personal consumption expenditures price index report that is due on Thursday and the August nonfarm payrolls data on Friday.


Future global challenges requires human capital building, says expert panel

Future global challenges requires human capital building, says expert panel
Updated 6 sec ago
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Future global challenges requires human capital building, says expert panel

Future global challenges requires human capital building, says expert panel

RIYADH: Economic development, conflict resolution, and future resilience are all rooted in cross-border human capital readiness, a panel of experts claimed during the Human Capability Initiative in Riyadh.

As the global community grapples with an ever-growing climate crisis, geopolitical tensions, and an imminent “fourth” industrial revolution, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the EU, Haifa Al-Jedea, emphasized the need for accelerated access to essential human capital. 

For this to happen at the required scale and speed, she affirmed the necessity for multilateral efforts involving governments, multinational entities, and the private sector. 

Al-Jedea raised questions about whether sufficient investment and attention are being directed toward human capital within the existing global systems. She highlighted that the current frameworks may fall short in addressing future global challenges. 

She said: “Are we using the same priorities that are being applied in the private sector to UN organizations in our peace efforts? Are we investing in the same way that we are in our war efforts toward peace that includes human capability development, but also the application of different kinds of tech?” 

Al-Jedea said she echoed the need to adapt international organizations to focus on future skills, adding: “The system that is created today was created in the post-World War II environment. Are we ready? As the UN, as the European Union, as any other international organization, together with governments, are we ready to tackle future issues? Do we have the human capabilities within our organizations and governments to be able to tackle these future challenges?” 

A recent report on the prosperity of nations revealed that about 80 percent of a country’s wealth is generated from human capital, as stated by Fadia Saadah, the World Bank’s regional director of human development in the Middle East and North Africa. 

In less developed nations, this figure decreases to around 40 percent, as outlined by Saadah, thus affirming that in order to advance development, more specifically inclusive development, “we cannot do so without the adequate human capital.”  

At the core of building the necessary talent, is a grassroots approach, she noted, saying: “Whenever we talk about human capital, you really have to work with local institutions and with local capacity. I prefer to say unleashing the capacity rather than building it because I think there’s a lot of capacity that sometimes we just need to direct it and invest in it. So working and joining hands with local institutions is critical for any initiative that’s looking at human capital.” 

The World Economic Forum’s managing director Saadia Zahidi, speaking alongside Saadah, highlighted the organization’s efforts to implement concrete examples of localized re-skilling and up-skilling.

These initiatives aim to serve as scalable models on a global level, addressing the human capital deficit. 

Among them is the “reskilling revolution” initiative, which seeks to better educate and train a billion people over the span of 10 years, with a target of completion by 2030, Zahidi said.  

“In 20 countries, we have helped set up education, skills, and jobs accelerators. And together, this set of work has already reached 600 million people, well ahead of the target that we had set for ourselves. So, I believe, at least, that it’s very possible, from the experiments that we’ve done so far, that we can actually surface the best-in-class knowledge and get countries to put some of these in place,” she added. 

Managing the vast array of transitions that the world is witnessing in an equitable manner requires an inclusive approach that “makes people feel like they are participating in economic opportunities in the world,” said Kai Roemmelt, the CEO of Udacity, while speaking on the panel. 

He attributed much of the tensions witnessed in many communities — whether terrorism, extremism, or poverty — to a lack of equal access. Roemmelt praised the technological surge of the fourth industrial revolution as an asset, rather than a detriment to human capacity building. 

“So, we need to make sure that that we give people access to opportunity, and I think AI and online learning are ways to do that. There are a lot of programs; we have a program that we do together with Google for Palestine. We have programs for underprivileged youth in many parts of the world. And I believe that allows people equal access to these opportunities, regardless of where they are, regardless of whether they are in a city in a rural area,” he said. 


Saudi Arabia unveils plans for national academy to nurture human capital

Saudi Arabia unveils plans for national academy to nurture human capital
Updated 25 min 53 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia unveils plans for national academy to nurture human capital

Saudi Arabia unveils plans for national academy to nurture human capital

RIYADH: In a bid to boost its efforts industrialization efforts and develop human capital, Saudi Arabia will launch a training facility, a top government official disclosed on Wednesday.

The National Academy for Industry will help boost capabilities and become a leading hub in collaboration with various training providers, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef said at the Human Capability Initiative in Riyadh.

“In support of our sector’s goals, the academy will be a world-class leader enabling regional capabilities, becoming a regional hub. It will act as the ecosystem enabler, being an overarching ability for different capabilities, capturing value of existing players and filling the gaps in the training ecosystem,” he said.

The minister also unveiled the Human Capital Development Strategy for mining and industries with four key objectives.

“The first is to cultivate, grow, and attract the right talent, second is to empower the talent and leadership, create and complement the culture and environment for competitive human capital, third, boost innovation, productivity, and future readiness of the human capital,” Alkhorayef said.

He continued: “Finally, drive a collaborative ecosystem where the ministry will orchestrate and build the regulatory foundation and the private sector will lead.”

 

 

 


Riyadh forum to elevate Saudi, Turkish economic partnerships

Riyadh forum to elevate Saudi, Turkish economic partnerships
Updated 31 min 29 sec ago
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Riyadh forum to elevate Saudi, Turkish economic partnerships

Riyadh forum to elevate Saudi, Turkish economic partnerships

RIYADH: The Saudi-Turkish Business Forum, expected to take place on March 4, represents the significant advancements boosting economic cooperation between the two nations. 

The conference, which will be held at Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, will continue to strengthen commercial and economic ties between the business sectors of both countries, following the successful edition of the forum held in Istanbul in October 2023, which attracted over 700 companies.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the program will include a parallel exhibition displaying Turkish products, in addition to bilateral meetings between Turkish companies and businesspeople from the Kingdom.

SPA added that the forum seeks to enhance commercial ties and initiate several joint investment ventures, capitalizing on the promising economic prospects of both nations and the keen interest demonstrated by their leadership.


Qatar to invest $10.85bn in key sectors of French economy: Elysee 

Qatar to invest $10.85bn in key sectors of French economy: Elysee 
Updated 28 February 2024
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Qatar to invest $10.85bn in key sectors of French economy: Elysee 

Qatar to invest $10.85bn in key sectors of French economy: Elysee 

PARIS: France and Qatar have sealed a strategic partnership under which Qatar has agreed to channel €10 billion ($10.85 billion) into start-ups and investment funds in France between 2024 and 2030, the French presidency said in a statement. 

The investments “to the mutual benefit of both countries” will target key sectors ranging from energy transition, semiconductor, aerospace, artificial intelligence, digital, health, hospitality and culture, it added. 

The investment was announced as Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s ruling emir, started a two-day visit to France on Tuesday, his first state visit to the country since his accession to the throne in 2013. 


Saudi Arabia aims for 150k new jobs in chemical plants and renewable energy, says minister

Saudi Arabia aims for 150k new jobs in chemical plants and renewable energy, says minister
Updated 28 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia aims for 150k new jobs in chemical plants and renewable energy, says minister

Saudi Arabia aims for 150k new jobs in chemical plants and renewable energy, says minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is poised to create 150,000 new jobs in chemical plants and renewable energy facilities, with a commitment to achieving 75 percent localization, said a top official. 

During the Human Capability Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman emphasized that the energy sector has the biggest chance to achieve that localization target compared to any other sector.    

The minister said: “We see somewhere around 150,000 jobs being created, including not only working in chemical plants and with heavy wind or renewable facilities but also we see a lot of jobs are coming through the localization programs. We also are committed to a localization program which is 75 percent.” 

He added: “This is what we are going try to achieve with using this approach just to give you an idea of how we are thinking and how much it is being elaborated.”