Global ambitions to tackle climate change are being confronted by rising concerns about energy security, according to a new report by RBC, which is why oil and natural gas are going to be used for quite a while.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent energy prices soaring, as there are supply concerns for many commodities such as oil, natural gas and coal. As many countries grapple with energy security and affordability issues, there is less emphasis on climate change.
That’s why the authors of the report say countries like Canada now have to figure out how to produce more oil and gas in the short term, all the while trying to meet climate goals.
“Short of major additional action, oil and gas will likely remain critical and contentious energy sources for longer than some think,” the report notes.
In the last few months, there has been a renewed push by countries like Canada and the United States for more oil and natural gas production. At the same time, some countries in Europe are investing in liquefied natural gas terminals to import more natural gas and also looking at coal and oil-fired electricity to reduce reliance on Russian gas.
Global demand for oil keeps rising and is expected to increase for several more years, according to the International Energy Agency.
The RBC report highlights how many governments around the world are also offering subsidies to offset high gasoline and power prices, including “usual climate leaders” such as Germany, California, and British Columbia.
Climate change is still a priority, said RBC economist Colin Guldimann, but there isn’t as much momentum as compared to six months ago after the UN climate conference.
“Many will admit that things have changed markedly, especially in the energy space, in the last couple of months,” he said in an interview.
Canada must now thread the needle of meeting climate goals while also meeting energy needs.
Even after oil demand peaks, Guldimann said “the pace of that decline, and the steepness of how quickly that decline happens, is fundamentally uncertain.”
Investments in clean energy are happening, but instead of replacing fossil fuels, much of that energy is offset by rising consumption around the world as the population grows.
“We think energy demand is set to surge over the next couple of decades and how we meet those energy needs is really the critical question today,” he said.
“I think countries are going to struggle to switch their energy systems over to ones that are non-emitting extremely quickly. Green infrastructure takes time to build, and technologies that can replace oil are still sort of coming to the fore.”
The RBC report calls for more ambition to curb emissions, not only from the oilpatch, but other sectors too such as building retrofits, zero-emission vehicle subsidies and more transmission lines to move clean power around the country.
On Monday, credit ratings agency Moody’s said it expects oil producers to generate record profits and free cash flow this year — and oil prices could remain high for the next 12 to 18 months.
Oil prices dropped by more than five per cent at one point on Monday as lockdowns in China are dampening economic activity. As commodity prices fluctuate so wildly, some oil companies could delay production increases.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see if a lot of these companies say ‘You know what, let’s defer this decision where we have to expand our spending,” said Jeremy McCrea, an analyst with Raymond James, “which ultimately will keep oil and gas prices higher, longer.”
World shares sink after inflation driven retreat on Wall St – Business News – Castanet.net
Shares declined in Europe and Asia on Thursday after a broad retreat on Wall Street triggered by worries over the impact of persistent high inflation on corporate profits and consumer spending.
U.S. futures were lower, while oil prices advanced.
Germany’s DAX lost 2% to 13,731.64 and the CAC 40 in Paris declined 1.9% to 6,234.78. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1.7% to 3,537.99. The future for the S&P 500 was 1% lower while the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.9%.
The Dow industrials sank more than 1,100 points, or 3.6% on Wednesday, and the S&P 500 had its biggest drop in nearly two years, shedding 4%. That was its steepest decline since June 2020. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.7%.
The benchmark index is now down more than 18% from the record high it reached at the beginning of the year. That’s just shy of the 20% decline that’s considered a bear market.
“The sentiment in the market is highly negative as traders and investors are largely concerned about an economic downturn and soaring inflation,” Naeem Aslam of Avatrade said in a commentary.
The Federal Reserve is trying to temper the impact from the highest inflation in four decades by raising interest rates. Many other central banks are on a similar track. But the Bank of Japan has stuck to its low interest rate policy and the gap between those benchmark rates of the world’s largest and third-largest economies has pushed the dollar’s value up against the Japanese yen.
Japan reported a trade deficit for April as its imports ballooned 28%. The shift reflects surging energy costs amid the war in Ukraine and a weakening of the yen against the U.S. dollar.
Japan’s exports grew to 8.076 trillion yen ($63 billion) last month, up 12.5% from the previous year, according to Ministry of Finance data released Thursday. Imports totaled 8.915 trillion yen ($70 billion) in April, up from 6.953 trillion yen in April 2021, and the highest since comparable numbers began to be taken in 1979.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 1.9% to 26,402.84 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 2.5% to 20,120.60. In South Korea, the Kospi shed 1.3% to 2,592.34, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 1.7% to 7,064.50.
The Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses, gaining 0.4% to 3.096.96.
On Wednesday, retailer Target lost a quarter of its value after reporting earnings that fell far short of analysts’ forecasts. Inflation, especially for shipping costs, dragged its operating margin for the first quarter to 5.3%. It had been expecting 8% or higher.
The company warned that its costs for freight this year would be $1 billion higher than it estimated just three months ago.
The report comes a day after Walmart said its profit took a hit from higher costs. The nation’s largest retailer fell 6.8%, adding to its losses from Tuesday.
Target and Walmart each provided anecdotal evidence that inflation is weighing on consumers, saying they held back on purchasing big-ticket items and changed from national brands to less expensive store brands.
The weak reports stoked concerns that stubbornly rising inflation is putting a tighter squeeze on a wide range of businesses and could cut deeper into their profits.
Other big retailers also have racked up hefty losses.
The data are not entirely consistent. On Tuesday, the market cheered an encouraging report from the Commerce Department that showed retail sales rose in April, driven by higher sales of cars, electronics, and more spending at restaurants.
Investors worry the Fed could trigger a recession if it raises interest rates too high or too quickly. Worries persist about global growth as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts even more pressure on prices for oil and food while lockdowns in China to stem COVID-19 cases worsens supply chain problems.
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 56 cents to $110.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $2.81 to $109.59 on Wednesday.
Brent crude, the basis for pricing for international trading, climbed $1.19 to $110.30 per barrel.
The dollar fell to 128.14 Japanese yen from 128.20 yen late Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.0481 from $1.0464.
Gold prices holding at session highs as U.S. existing home sales fall 2.4% in April – Kitco NEWS
(Kitco News) – The gold market continues to trade near session highs, supported by more disappointing economic data. Rising interest rates continue to cool down the U.S. housing market as fewer consumers purchased home last month, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Existing home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.61 million units last month, down 2.4% compared to March’s annualized rate of 5.75 million homes, the NAR said on Thursday. Market consensus projections called for existing home sales to fall only slightly to 5.65 million.
For the year, home sales are down 5.9%, the report said.
The gold market has seen some renewed technical buying momentum, which has been supported by weaker-than-expected economic data. June gold futures last traded at $1,842.40 an ounce, up nearly 1.5% on the day.
The U.S. housing sector has faced some challenging headwinds as the Federal Reserve looks to aggressively raise interest rates, which in turn is pushing mortgage rates higher.
“Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “It looks like more declines are imminent in the upcoming months, and we’ll likely return to the pre-pandemic home sales activity after the remarkable surge over the past two years.”
Yun noted that the falling sales space is helping to boost the supply of existing homes. The report said that the inventory of homes for sale totaled 1,030,000 in April, representing a 2.2-month supply.
Although sales are down, Yun said that home prices still remain elevated.
“The market is quite unusual as sales are coming down, but listed homes are still selling swiftly, and home prices are much higher than a year ago,” he said.
The report said the median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $391,200, up 14.8% from April 2021.
Ford recalling 350,000 SUVs due to unexplained engine fires, including some sold in Canada – CBC News
Ford is asking the owners of 350,000 SUVs from the 2021 model year to take them to dealers for repairs because the engines can catch fire.
Ford says in U.S. government documents posted Thursday that it doesn’t know what’s causing fires in some Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs from the 2021 model year.
2863 of the vehicles were sold in Canada: 2,354 Expeditions, and 509 Navigators.
Owners are being advised to park them outside if possible because engine fires have been reported even when the vehicles were not in use.
Ford has reports of 16 fires under the hood, 12 of which started when the engine was off. One person was burned.
Trying to notify customers
So far it hasn’t developed a repair for the fires, which appear to start at the back of the engine compartment on the passenger side.
Ford says it’s treating the recall urgently and will use apps and mail to notify customers as soon as it develops a list of vehicle owners and addresses.
“We are working around the clock to determine the root cause of this issue and subsequent remedy so that customers can continue to enjoy using their vehicles,” Jeffrey Marentic, general manager of Ford passenger vehicles, said in a statement.
Ford began investigating fire reports on March 24. It says the fires appear to be limited to SUVs built from Dec. 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The company says it has no fire reports from vehicles built before or after those dates.
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