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Oil Poised For Steepest Weekly Decline Since July – OilPrice.com

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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Oil prices were heading for their worst week since July early on Friday, as fears about a full-blown conflict between the U.S. and Iran in the Middle East subsided a week after prices surged on the U.S. killing of a top Iranian military commander.  

As of 09:51 a.m. EDT on Friday, Brent Crude was down 0.46 percent at US$65.07, while WTI Crude traded below the US$60 a barrel mark, down   1.09 percent at US$58.91.

Oil prices surged last Friday, following the assassination of Iran’s most powerful and visible military leader, Qassem Soleimani, by U.S. forces in Iraq. The attack was carried out following a direct order from U.S. President Donald Trump and was aimed at ‘deterring future attacks’ on U.S. diplomats and service members throughout the region.

Early on Monday, the oil price rally continued, with Brent Crude prices exceeding US$70 a barrel for the first time since May last year. WTI Crude was also up, rising above US$64 a barrel, also the highest price level since May 2019.

On Tuesday, prices started to retreat as investors and speculators awaited an Iranian retaliation for Soleimani’s assassination, but were dialing down the panic that oil supply disruptions may be imminent.

Retaliation came later the same day, sending oil prices up by 4 percent for a few hours.

But then oil prices retreated again, only to further fall later on Wednesday when the Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil inventory build of 1.2 million barrels for the first week of the new year.

Despite the two sudden price spikes due to the U.S. and Iran actions over the past week, early on Friday oil prices were below the levels seen just before Soleimani’s assassination and were also set for their biggest weekly loss since the middle of July last year.

The nearest catalyst for oil prices could be the U.S. rig count report from Baker Hughes due out later on Friday.    

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Afterpay delays vote on $29 billion buyout as Square awaits Spain’s nod

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Afterpay Ltd will delay a shareholder meet to approve Square Inc’s $29-billion buyout of the Australian buy now, pay later leader, as the Jack Dorsey-led payment company awaits regulatory nod in Spain.

The investor meet was set for Dec. 6, but Afterpay said it would likely take place next year as Square, which has rebranded itself to Block Inc, is likely to get an approval from the Bank of Spain only in mid-January.

The delay is unlikely to impact the completion of Australia‘s biggest deal, which is set for the first quarter of 2022, Afterpay said.

“We continue to believe the risks of the transaction closing are minimal,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Chami Ratnapala said in a brief client note.

Meanwhile, Twitter Inc co-founder Dorsey is expected to focus on Square after stepping down as chief executive of the social media platform as it looks to expand beyond its payment business and into new technologies like blockchain.

Afterpay shares fell more than 6%, far underperforming the broader Australian market, tracking Square’s 6.6% drop overnight in U.S. market on worries over the Omicron variant.

 

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian, Sameer Manekar and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur)

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Canada Goose under fresh fire in China over no-return policies

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China’s top consumer protection organisation has warned Canada Goose Holdings Inc against “bullying” customers in China with its return policies, just three months after the winterwear brand was fined for false advertising.

The premium down jacket manufacturer has been a hot topic on Chinese social media in recent days over its handling of a case involving a customer who wanted a refund of her purchases amounting to 11,400 yuan ($1,790.17) after finding quality issues.

She said she was told by Canada Goose that all products sold at its retail stores in mainland China were strictly non-refundable, according to her account which went viral online.

State-backed media such as the Global Times newspaper later cited Canada Goose as denying that it had a no-refund policy and that all products sold at its retail stores in mainland China were refundable in line with Chinese laws. The company did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

That has not failed to quell criticism of the brand.

“No brand has any privileges in front of consumers,” the government-backed China Consumer Association (CCA) said in an opinion piece posted on its website on Thursday morning.

“If you don’t do what you say, regard yourself as a big brand, behave arrogantly and in a superior way, adopt discriminatory policies, be condescending and bully customers, you will for sure lose the trust of consumers and be abandoned by the market,” the CCA said.

Representatives of the brand were summoned for talks on Wednesday by the Shanghai Consumer Council to explain its refund policy in China.

The dressing down of Canada Goose comes as tension between China and Western countries has fuelled patriotism and driven some shoppers to turn to home-grown labels.

Canada Goose was also fined 450,000 yuan in September in China for “misleading” consumers in its ads.

($1 = 6.3681 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 

(Reporting by Sophie Yu, Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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Apple tells suppliers demand for iPhone 13 lineup has weakened – Bloomberg News

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Apple Inc has told its component suppliers that demand for the iPhone 13 lineup has slowed, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter, signaling that some consumers have decided against trying to get the hard-to-find item.

 

(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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