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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Today's ENERGY News - April 7, 2016



 

Top Stories 


China stabilises but economists warn on stimulus risk


China’s economy is stabilising after the slowdown of recent months, data suggest, easing worries about a hard landing but raising questions about the government’s commitment to rebalancing.  A slump in manufacturing and property, China’s traditional growth drivers, has slammed global commodity prices and shrunk profits at Chinese groups tied to the old growth model. Planned lay-offs in steel, coal and other overcapacity sectors have led to labour unrest and concern over unemployment.  However, recent data suggest the tide is turning, at least temporarily. The Caixin purchasing managers’ indices for both manufacturing and services rose sharply in March, survey results showed on Thursday. The manufacturing PMI hit 49.7 in March, its highest level in more than a year and a much better reading than expected. Caixin’s services PMI rose to 52.2 in March from 51.2 in February. The 50-point level separates contraction from expansion.  The latest figures suggest recent stimulus efforts — notably in the property sector — have succeeded in arresting the slowdown.

Iran sticking to plan to regain its share of OPEC crude oil output: government

Iran will not back down on its plans to regain its share of oil production within OPEC, the government said Tuesday ahead of a crucial meeting of global oil producers to decide whether to freeze crude output at January’s levels to support prices. Government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht also called on other major producers to cut their output to make room for Iran. “We are determined to gain the share we previously had,” Nobakht told a press briefing. Under restrictive international sanctions over its disputed nuclear program, Iran’s crude production and exports fell from around 4 million b/d and 2.2 million-2.3 million b/d, respectively, to just under 3 million b/d and around 1 million b/d. Article Continues below… Every Monday, Capitol Hill newshounds Herman Wang and Brian Scheid analyze, dissect and debate the key US oil policy issues affecting the industry. Donald Trump’s proposal to ban US imports of […]

The five main drivers of oil prices 

Oil’s volatile start to 2016 has continued with prices falling back below $40 as the second quarter begins. The following could determine crude’s next move.  Less than two weeks until a key meeting of Opec members and other large producers, the outcome is very much in doubt.  Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia said last week that theOpec kingpin will agree to a hold output only if joined by Iran, something that seems unlikely given Tehran has vowed to lift exports as it emerges from years of sanctions.  Before those comments Opec delegates indicated Saudi Arabia would be prepared to allow Iran some leeway despite the fierce rivalry between the two Middle Eastern powers.  While such views supersede those of the oil ministry, it is possible his message falls short of an edict, and may be partially aimed at a domestic audience used to tough talk against Iran. Equally the comments may be a pre-meeting bargaining chip to extract more concessions from Iran such as capping how much the country raises output before joining the freeze.

Oil Prices Rally on U.S. Stockpile Fall

Oil prices rallied Wednesday after industry data showed that U.S. stockpiles fell and a Chinese economic gauge showed quicker-than-expected improvement. Adding to the bullish sentiment in crude, Kuwait, a heavyweight in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, expressed confidence that players within and outside the bloc will agree to limit their output at a meeting later this month. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose 2.4% to $38.79 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 3.1% at $37.02 a barrel. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels last week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official inventory data later Wednesday. Analysts polled by The Wall Street […]

U.S. Trade Deficit Rises to a Six-Month High of $47.1 Billion



America’s trade deficit widened in February to a six-month high as an increase in imports exceeded a more modest pickup in shipments overseas. The gap increased 2.6 percent to $47.1 billion from a revised $45.9 billion in January, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a $46.2 billion February shortfall. The gain in exports was just the first in five months and highlights the squeeze on American manufacturers from a stronger dollar that’s made U.S.-made goods less attractive in a weaker global marketplace. A third straight increase in the deficit indicates trade will weigh on first-quarter growth. “American economic demand is stronger than abroad,” said David Sloan, senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York. Still-weak overseas growth in the months to come will mean a “slow and steady gradual increase in the deficit, which will be a modest drag on growth […]


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