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Oil falls as U.S. inventories rise but demand hopes stem bigger drop – CNBC

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Azeri oil workers operate a large field of drilling rigs on October 12, 2003 outside the capital city of Baku, Azerbaijan.

Oleg Nikishin | Getty Images

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after U.S. industry data showed a surprise build up in crude inventories but losses were kept in check by expectations for an uptick in demand next year on the back of progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade row.

Brent dropped 30 cents to $65.80 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 40 cents to $60.56 per barrel.

Prices had risen more than 1% in the previous session after the announcement last week of the so-called Phase One U.S.-China trade deal, which lifted global economic prospects and improved the outlook for energy demand.

“The sizzling oil market rally came to a grinding halt after an unexpected climb in the weekly U.S. crude inventory report,” said Stephen Innes, market strategist at AxiTrader, although he said figures for stocks were “unlikely to be a game-changer.”

“Investors have transcended the trade deal-inspired relief rally euphoria, and are now banking on a fundamental demand-driven shift that could quicken the pace of the oil market rebalancing in the first quarter of 2020,” he said.

U.S. crude inventories climbed 4.7 million barrels in the week to Dec. 13 to 452 million, compared with analysts’ expectations for a draw of 1.3 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due later on Wednesday.

“As much as the API has taken the wind out of bulls’ sails, the lull in upside is expected to be short-lived. After all, recent positive developments have given oil fundamentals for next year a supportive shot in the arm,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Deeper production cuts coming from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, such as Russia, which make up a group known as OPEC+, continued to offer some support and prevented a further slide in prices.

OPEC+, which has cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since Jan. 1 this year, will make a further cut of 500,000 bpd from Jan. 1 to support the market.

RBC Capital Markets said prices could stagnate if trade progress did not translate into concrete economic growth.

“Economic green shoots will help sentiment”, the bank wrote. “But broad macro worries, oil demand softness and pent up producer hedging may continue to serve as near term headwinds for oil prices.”

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What supply chain shortages look like for two Canadians – CBC.ca

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  1. What supply chain shortages look like for two Canadians  CBC.ca
  2. Canadian ski resorts struggle to hire enough workers ahead of season  CBC.ca
  3. Calls to end ‘hybrid’ classrooms in Ontario with in-person and virtual teaching  CBC.ca
  4. A life story told in outfits: Anahid Chujunian discovers her voice one thrift find at a time  CBC.ca
  5. Amateur astronomer in Dartmouth has an asteroid named after him  CBC.ca
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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FDA says kid-sized Pfizer vaccine doses appear highly effective, safe – CBC.ca

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U.S. health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the country weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.

The Food and Drug Administration posted its analysis of Pfizer’s data ahead of a public meeting next week to debate whether the shots are ready for the nation’s roughly 28 million children ages 5 to 11. The agency will ask a panel of outside vaccine experts to vote on that question.

In their analysis, FDA scientists concluded that in almost every scenario the vaccine’s benefit for preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 would outweigh any serious potential side effects in children. But agency reviewers stopped short of calling for Pfizer’s shot to be authorized.

The agency will put that question to its panel of independent advisers next Tuesday and weigh their advice before making its own decision.

U.S. children could begin vaccinations next month

If the FDA authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make additional recommendations on who should receive them the first week of November. Children could begin vaccinations early next month — with the first youngsters in line fully protected by Christmas.

Full-strength Pfizer shots already are recommended for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem infections from the extra-contagious delta variant and help keep kids in school.

WATCH | Pfizer releases clinical trial data for COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11:

Pfizer releases clinical trial data for COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11

13 hours ago

Pfizer publicly released data from its coronavirus vaccine trial appearing to show that it’s both safe and effective for children aged five to 11. But that data is now being reviewed by regulators, and parents want to carefully weigh the risks. 2:03

The FDA review affirmed results from Pfizer posted earlier in the day showing the two-dose shot was nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infection in young children. Researchers calculated the figure based on 16 COVID-19 cases in youngsters given dummy shots versus three cases among vaccinated children. There were no severe illnesses reported among any of the youngsters, but the vaccinated ones had much milder symptoms than their unvaccinated counterparts.

Most of the study data was collected in the U.S. during August and September, when the delta variant had become the dominant COVID-19 strain.

No new side effects

The FDA review found no new or unexpected side effects, which mostly consisted of sore arms, fever or achiness that teens experience.

However, FDA scientists noted that the study wasn’t large enough to detect extremely rare side effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation that occasionally occurs after the second dose.

The agency used statistical modelling to try to predict how many hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 the vaccine would prevent versus the number of potential heart side effects it might cause. In four scenarios of the pandemic, the vaccine clearly prevented more hospitalizations than would be expected from the heart side effect. Only when virus cases were extremely low would the vaccine cause more hospitalizations than it would prevent. But overall, regulators concluded that the vaccine’s protective benefits “would clearly outweigh” its risks.

While children run a lower risk of severe illness or death than older people, COVID-19 has killed more than 630 Americans 18 and under, according to the CDC. Nearly 6.2 million children have been infected with the coronavirus, more than 1.1 million in the last six weeks as the delta variant surged, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

The Biden administration has purchased enough kid-size doses — in special orange-capped vials to distinguish them from adult vaccine — for the nation’s 5- to 11-year-olds. If the vaccine is cleared, millions of doses will be promptly shipped around the country, along with kid-size needles.

More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to get the shots into little arms.

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Edward Rogers’ role as Blue Jays chair unchanged amid changes atop RCI – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO — Edward Rogers’ roles as chair of the Toronto Blue Jays and control person with Major League Baseball are unaffected by this week’s manoeuvrings that led to his removal as board chair of parent company Rogers Communications Inc., according to two industry sources.

Whether fallout from the power struggle atop the telecom giant, which also owns Sportsnet, might eventually reach the club is unclear. Last week, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro said the team was “about a month away” from presenting its off-season plan during a final payroll meeting with ownership, and expressed confidence that its long-term strategic objectives would remain on track.

“Every indication I’ve received and every indication that we’ve been shown … leads me to believe that we will stay on plan and the payroll will continue to rise despite the fact that we’re still lagging behind a little bit in revenues due to (the pandemic),” Shapiro said.

Those comments came before news broke that John MacDonald, a member of the Rogers Board of Directors since 2012, had assumed the chairman role in place of Edward Rogers, who according to media reports had sought to oust company CEO Joe Natale.

Edward Rogers is now seeking to replace five board members.

At this point, the sources said the developments aren’t expected to impact a winter of opportunity for the Blue Jays, who are seeking to augment a club that missed the post-season by one game and are about to see top performers Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz hit free agency.

Shapiro is close with Edward Rogers, who as chair is the top officer of the club. He is also the control person, a role each of the 30 MLB teams assigns to represent the interests of that ownership.

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