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Oil prices in US drop to 21-year low

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The price of US oil has fallen to a level not seen since 1999, as demand dries up and storage running out.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil, dropped 14% to $15.65 in Asia trading on Monday.

The oil market has come under intense pressure during the coronavirus pandemic with a huge slump in demand.

US storage facilities are now struggling to cope with the glut of oil, weakening prices further.

The oil industry has been struggling with both tumbling demand and in-fighting among producers about reducing output. Earlier this month Opec members and its allies finally agreed a record deal to slash global output by about 10%. The deal was the largest cut in oil production ever to have been agreed.

But some analysts said the cuts were not big enough to make a difference. “It hasn’t taken long for the market to recognize that the OPEC+ deal will not, in its present form, be enough to balance oil markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axicorp.

Meanwhile, concern continues to mount that storage facilities in the US will run out of capacity, with stockpiles at Cushing, the main delivery point in the US for oil, rising almost 50% since the start of March, according to ANZ Bank. “We hold some hope for a recovery later this year,” the bank said in its research note.

“It’s a dump at all cost as no one, and I mean no one, wants delivery of oil with Cushing storage facilities filling by the minute,” added Mr Innes.

Brent oil, the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world, was slightly weaker, down 0.8% to $27.87 a barrel.

 

Updated on April 20, 2020 by Harry Miller
Credit: BBC.com
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Google is sued in US for tracking users' 'private' internet browsing – The Jerusalem Post

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Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in “private” mode.The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode.According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads.This helps Google learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said.Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, said the Mountain View, California-based company will defend itself vigorously against the claims.”As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity,” he said.While users may view private browsing as a safe haven from watchful eyes, computer security researchers have long raised concern that Google and rivals might augment user profiles by tracking people’s identities across different browsing modes, combining data from private and ordinary internet surfing.The complaint said the proposed class likely includes “millions” of Google users who since June 1, 2016 browsed the internet in “private” mode.It seeks at least $5,000 of damages per user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.Boies Schiller & Flexner represents the plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen and William Byatt.

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Huawei Snubbed by Canadian Firms Ahead of Trudeau’s Crucial 5G Call – Yahoo Finance

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(Bloomberg) — Two major Canadian wireless companies said they will build out their next-generation 5G wireless networks with equipment from European providers, sidelining China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

Montreal-based BCE Inc. said that Ericsson AB will provide the radio access network equipment — the critical antennas and base stations — for its 5G network. Telus Corp. said in a separate statement that it has selected Ericsson and Nokia Oyj “to support building” its network, without elaborating.

Those announcements come ahead of a closely watched — and long overdue — decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on whether to ban Huawei from participating in the nation’s 5G infrastructure amid deeply troubled relations with Beijing. Huawei previously played a large role in Canadian wireless networks but has faced growing national security concerns from Western governments.

BCE would still consider working with Huawei if the government allows their participation in 5G, the Canadian company said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The Trump administration has lobbied allies to ban Huawei 5G, saying its equipment would make networks vulnerable to exploitation by the Chinese government. Despite that, the U.K. said in January it would allow Huawei a limited role. In recent days, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has backtracked, saying it seeks to reduce reliance on the company’s technology and on China.

Telus and BCE awarded Huawei its first major project in North America in 2008 — a pivotal contract that helped cement the Chinese provider’s reputation as a global player that could compete on quality. The deal paved the way for it to become a major supplier to all three of Canada’s biggest telecom companies over the next decade.

Stalling in Ottawa

The Telus announcement comes as a particular surprise after Chief Financial Officer Doug French told the National Post in February that “we’re going to launch 5G with Huawei out of the gate” by the end of the year.

Telus spokeswoman Donna Ramirez didn’t immediately respond to a question on whether the company’s announcement still leaves room for Huawei to participate in its 5G rollout. Huawei said in an emailed statement it looks forward to the federal government completing its 5G review and making an evidence-based decision about its role in helping build Canada’s next-generation wireless networks.

Trudeau has stalled on whether to ban Huawei. Tensions between the two countries have been rising since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. handover request in late 2018. After her arrest, China put two Canadian citizens in jail, halted billions of dollars in Canadian imports and put two other Canadians on death row.

The extradition proceedings against Meng, the eldest daughter of the company’s billionaire founder, have pushed Canada’s relationship with its second-biggest trading partner into its worst state in decades. Beijing has accused Canada of abetting a U.S.-led “political persecution” against a national champion.

(Updates eighth paragraph with statement from Huawei)

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Stocks Rise for Third Day on Outlook for Reopening: Markets Wrap – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Stocks Rise for Third Day on Outlook for Reopening: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rose alongside equities in Europe and Asia amid new bouts of stimulus and positive economic signals as coronavirus lockdowns ease. The dollar slumped for a fourth consecutive day.

Two shares rose on the S&P 500 Index for every one that fell, lifting the benchmark to its highest since March 4. Gunmakers extended rallies in the wake of President Donald Trump’s promise to deploy large numbers of troops if cities and states don’t act to contain violence from protests over police brutality.

Stocks are hovering near their highest in three months as businesses reopen around the world and manufacturing gauges show economies stabilizing following coronavirus shutdowns. That’s despite a slew of risks still on the horizon, including tense U.S.-China relations that may jeopardize a hard-won trade deal. The sometimes violent demonstrations across U.S. cities over the killing by police of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, aren’t yet seen as a major drag on the economy and corporate profits.

“Everyone who is assessing what they’re seeing on the news every night is recognizing things getting worse, and yet the markets are focusing on things that they believe are getting better,” said Brian Levitt, a global market strategist at Invesco. Coronavirus “cases have plateaued in aggregate and compressed in some of the hardest hit areas. Mobility is starting to pick up, reopenings are starting to pick up.”

Stimulus hopes powered Europe’s Stoxx 600 to a 12-week high as Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to thrash out a second aid package for Germany. Oil gained as investors eyed a potential extension of record production curbs by OPEC+. Treasuries edged lower, while the pound gained on positive news in trade negotiations between Britain and the EU.

Elsewhere, emerging-market stocks rallied alongside currencies. Australia’s dollar rose to its highest level since January. In Asia, Tokyo equity benchmarks outperformed.

Here are some key events coming up:

In Europe, the ECB is expected to top up its rescue program with an additional 500 billion euros of asset purchases at a meeting on Thursday. Anything less than an expansion would be a big shock, Bloomberg Economics said.The U.S. labor market report on Friday will probably show American unemployment soared to 19.6% in May, the highest since the 1930s.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.8% at the close of trading in New York for its third straight gain.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 1.7%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.3%.The euro increased 0.3% to $1.1169.The British pound gained 0.4% to $1.2546.The Japanese yen weakened 1% to 108.66 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 0.68%.Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to -0.42%.Britain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.22%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude increased 4% to $36.84 a barrel.Gold fell 0.7% to $1,728.12 an ounce.

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