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Oil prices jump as OPEC+ agrees to small output cut – Al Jazeera English

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OPEC+ leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia said demand for oil has been cooling for several months.

Oil prices rose about 3 percent on Monday, as OPEC+ members agreed to a small production cut of 100,000 barrels per day to bolster prices.

Brent crude futures for November delivery settled $2.72 higher at $95.74 a barrel, a 2.92 percent gain.

Prices had climbed nearly $4 earlier in the session, but were tamed by comments from the White House that United States President Joe Biden was committed to taking all steps necessary to shore up energy supplies and lower prices.

US crude rose $2 to $88.85 per barrel, a 2.3 percent rise after a 0.3 percent gain in the previous session, in thin volumes during the US Labor Day holiday.

The 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) reduction by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, amounts to only 0.1 percent of global demand. The group also agreed they could meet any time to adjust production before the next scheduled meeting on October 5.

“It’s the symbolic message the group wants to send to the markets more so than anything,” said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam, adding that the 100,000 bpd raise last month by OPEC+ was not seen as a big deal.

“What we’ve probably seen from the markets was pricing in most of the worst-case scenario,” Erlam added.

Top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia last month flagged the possibility of output cuts to address what it sees as exaggerated oil price declines.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said expectations of weaker global economic growth were behind a decision by Moscow and its OPEC allies to cut oil output.

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Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said the country would most likely reduce its oil production by about 2 percent this year, TASS news agency reported.

“The bigger picture is that OPEC+ is producing well below its output target and this looks unlikely to change given that Angola and Nigeria, in particular, appear unable to return to pre-pandemic levels of production,” Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics, said.

Oil prices have fallen in the past three months from multiyear highs hit in March, pressured by concerns that interest rate increases and COVID-19 curbs in parts of China could slow global economic growth and dent oil demand.

Lockdown measures in China’s southern technology hub of Shenzhen eased on Monday as new infections showed signs of stabilising, though the city remains on high vigilance.

Meanwhile, talks to revive the West’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, potentially providing a supply boost from Iranian crude’s return to the market, have hit a new snag. The White House on Friday rejected Iran’s call for a deal to be linked with the closure of investigations by the UN nuclear watchdog, a Western diplomat said.

Iran’s minister of petroleum said the global energy market needs an increase in the supply of oil from Iran.

Use of oil in power generation is also expected to pick up, analysts said, as Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom on Friday said it would stop pumping gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to a fault.

The International Energy Agency last month raised its oil demand forecast for the year, partly because it expects gas-to-oil switching in some countries due to record natural gas and electricity prices.

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Why selloff in gold is not over: $1600 danger zone for gold price – Kitco NEWS

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Editor’s Note: With so much market volatility, stay on top of daily news! Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today’s must-read news and expert opinions. Sign up here!

(Kitco News)Gold is trading near 2.5-year lows after a hawkish Federal Reserve sent the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields higher. This macro environment is likely to push more people away from gold, creating a great buying opportunity, according to analysts.

Volatility in the markets and dramatic FX plays did not leave gold untouched as the precious metal fell another 1.7% this week. After raising rates by 75 basis points for the third time in a row, the Fed upped its funds rate to 4.4% by the end of 2022 and to 4.6% in 2023.

For markets, this could translate into another 75-basis-point hike in November and an additional 50-basis-point increase in December.

“We’ve seen significant increases in the markets’ estimates of what the federal funds rate will do over the next year. It is quite a big difference from a month ago, and it is in line with the Fed being more aggressive,” TD Securities global head of commodity markets strategy Bart Melek told Kitco News. “The real rates are rising. That’s negative for gold. High cost of carry and high opportunity cost will probably drive capital away.”

Also, this type of hawkishness means that the peak in the U.S. dollar rally is still some time away, which is bad news for gold.

“Looks like this dollar rally is not peaking. The current market environment will likely remain unsettling. Fed rate hike expectations are widely swinging. We are not going to see that ease up until we see inflation come down,” OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Kitco News. “The problem is that we do not see the economy weaken quickly. When we do, that’s when you’ll see a peak in the dollar. For gold, it is all about when we see that.”

With the Dow touching the lowest level of the year Friday and more volatility ahead, gold is unlikely to see a strong rally in the short term. “We will not get a strong rush to buy gold just yet. There are low volatility instruments out there that are now giving you some yield. That is taking away from gold,” Moya added.

Eventually, gold will become a safe haven again as the appetite for equities wanes. But before that happens, the economy needs to slow, and inflation needs to decelerate. “Once we start seeing inflation moving into a more benign type level, the Fed can quickly turn. As they went from dovish to hawkish, they can go the other way. But it is unlikely any time soon,” Melek pointed out.



The big risk for the precious metal is a drop below $1,600 an ounce. “If we break $1,600, then $1,540 would be the line in the sand where we start to see buyers emerge. Gold will benefit from safe-haven flows abroad,” said Moya.

Melek also sees gold falling below $1,600 an ounce as likely. “Volatility will be higher going forward. As volatility increases, margin calls increase. Long positions can’t be extended. We are not going to see a big reentrance of positions. Nasty environment for gold,” he described.

Gold is watching the upcoming employment and inflation data from September. “The market is still looking at very tight labor conditions in the U.S. and implication that wage pressures will continue to be an issue,” Melek said.

Market consensus calls are looking for the U.S. economy to have created 300,000 positions in September, with the unemployment rate at 3.5%, which is near 50-year lows.

On a positive note, gold at these levels is a great entry point for buyers.

“This makes physical gold cheaper. It’s a buying opportunity. The Fed has been stressing that they have a dual mandate. And as inflation gets under control, the Fed could be quick to reverse in 2023. Real rates will be much more friendly to gold. I do expect gold to do well in the long-term,” Melek said.

However, for now, resistance is at $1,678-80, and support is around the $1,580 an ounce level, he added.

Next week’s data

Tuesday: Fed Chair Powell speaks, U.S. durable goods orders, CB consumer confidence, new home sales
Wednesday: U.S. pending home sales
Thursday: U.S. jobless claims, GDP Q2
Friday: U.S. persoanl income and PCE price index, Michigan consumer sentiment

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Risk assets crushed with few signs drama is over – BNN Bloomberg

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A selloff in the riskier corners of the market deepened as the U.K.’s plan to lift its economy fuelled concerns about heightened inflation that could lead to higher rates, adding to fears of a global recession.

It was a sea of red across equity trading desks, with the S&P 500 briefly breaching its June closing trough — and failing to pierce its intraday low for the year. Chartists looking for signs of where the rout might ease had identified that as a potential area for support. Yet the lack of full-blown capitulation may be an indication the drawdown isn’t over. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. slashed its target for U.S. stocks, warning that a dramatic upward shift in the outlook for rates will weigh on valuations.

As risk-off sentiment took hold, Wall Street’s “fear gauge” soared to a three-month high, with the Cboe Volatility Index momentarily topping 30. Throughout the year, the U.S. equity benchmark has hit near-term lows when the VIX was above that level, according to DataTrek Research.

A surge in the greenback to a fresh record swept aside global currencies. The euro slid to its weakest since 2002, while sterling hit a 37-year low — with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers saying that “naive” U.K. policies may create the circumstances for the pound to sink past parity with the dollar. 

Treasury 10-year yields fell after earlier topping 3.8 per cent. Meanwhile, two-year US rates climbed for 12 straight days — an up streak not seen since at least 1976. 

“It appears that traders and investors are going to throw in the towel on this week in what feels like ‘the sky is falling’ type of event,” said Kenny Polcari, chief strategist at SlateStone Wealth. “Once everyone stops saying that they ‘think a recession is coming’ and accepts the fact that it is here already – then the psyche will change.”

Liz Truss’s new U.K. government delivered the most sweeping tax cuts since 1972 at a time when the Bank of England is struggling to rein in inflation, which is running at almost five times its target. The plunge in gilts means that investors are now betting the central bank boosts its benchmark lending rate by a full point to 3.25 per cent in November, which would be the sharpest increase since 1989.

Amid heightened fears over a hard economic landing, commodities got hammered across the board. West Texas Intermediate settled below $79 a barrel for the first time since January, posting its longest stretch of weekly losses this year. Not even gold — a haven asset — was able to gain due to a surging dollar, and sank to the lowest level in two years.

The greenback’s strength has been unrelenting and will also exert a “meaningful drag” on corporate earnings — serving as a key headwind for stocks, said David Rosenberg, founder of his namesake research firm.

KKR & Co. sees potential trouble ahead, including a mild recession next year, with the Fed narrowly focused on driving up unemployment to tame inflation. The US labor shortage is so severe that it’s possible the Fed’s tightening doesn’t work, wrote Henry McVey, chief investment officer of the firm’s balance sheet.

“This is a more draconian outcome than corporate profits falling,” he noted, “because it will encourage the Fed to tighten even further.”

Investors are flocking to cash and shunning almost every other asset class as they turn the most pessimistic since the global financial crisis, according to Bank of America Corp. Investor sentiment is “unquestionably” the worst it’s been since the turmoil of 2008, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in a note.

“It’s a realization that interest rates are going to continue to rise here and that that’s going to put pressure on earnings,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “Valuations are still a little high even though they’ve come down, interest rates still have a lot further to go up and what impact that will have on the global economy — are we headed for a sharper recession than the recession everybody expected? I think it’s a combination of all of that, it’s not good news.”

‘MEANINGFUL DRAG’

Amid heightened fears over a hard economic landing, commodities got hammered across the board. West Texas Intermediate tumbled below $79 a barrel for the first time since January, posting its longest stretch of weekly losses this year. Not even gold — a haven asset — was able to gain due to a surging dollar, and sank to the lowest level in two years.

The greenback’s strength has been unrelenting and will also exert a “meaningful drag” on corporate earnings — serving as a key headwind for stocks, said David Rosenberg, founder of his namesake research firm.

KKR & Co. sees potential trouble ahead, including a mild recession next year, with the Fed narrowly focused on driving up unemployment to tame inflation. The US labor shortage is so severe that it’s possible the Fed’s tightening doesn’t work, wrote Henry McVey, chief investment officer of the firm’s balance sheet.

“This is a more draconian outcome than corporate profits falling,” he noted, “because it will encourage the Fed to tighten even further.”

Investors are flocking to cash and shunning almost every other asset class as they turn the most pessimistic since the global financial crisis, according to Bank of America Corp. Investor sentiment is “unquestionably” the worst it’s been since the crisis of 2008, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in a note.

“It’s a realization that interest rates are going to continue to rise here and that that’s going to put pressure on earnings,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “Valuations are still a little high even though they’ve come down, interest rates still have a lot further to go up and what impact that will have on the global economy — are we headed for a sharper recession than the recession everybody expected? I think it’s a combination of all of that, it’s not good news.”

EXTREME PESSIMISM

Stocks are indeed still far from being obvious bargains. At the low in June, the S&P 500 was trading at 18 times earnings, a multiple that surpassed trough valuations seen in all previous 11 bear cycles, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In other words, should equities recover from here, this bear-market bottom will have been the most expensive since the 1950s. 

Bleak sentiment is often considered a contrarian indicator for the US stock market, under the belief that extreme pessimism may signal brighter times ahead. But history suggests that equity losses may accelerate even further from here before the current bear market ends, according to Ned Davis Research.

In another threat to stocks, different iterations of the so-called Fed model, which compares bond yields to stock earnings’ yields, show equities are least appealing relative to corporate bonds and Treasuries since 2009 and early 2010, respectively. This signal is getting attention among investors, who can now know look to other markets for similar or better returns.

“The next question is when and how far do earnings estimates decline for 2023,” said Ellen Hazen, chief market strategist and portfolio manager at F.L. Putnam Investment Management. “Earnings estimates for next year are too high, they really have not come down, and as that happens you’re going to have further equity pain because in addition to the multiple coming down via the yield mechanism, the earnings you’re applying that multiple to are going to come down as well.”

As slower growth and tighter financial conditions start catching up to companies, a wave of downgrades will come for the US investment-grade corporate bond market.

That’s according to strategists at Barclays Plc, who say companies are facing margin pressure thanks to high inventories, supply chain issues, and a strong dollar. The firm expects the average monthly volume of downgrades to increase to $180 billion of bonds over the next half year. The current monthly average is closer to $40 billion.

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 fell 1.7 per cent as of 4 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.7 per cent
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6 per cent
  • The MSCI World index fell 2.1 per cent

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 1.3 per cent
  • The euro fell 1.5 per cent to $0.9693
  • The British pound fell 3.5 per cent to $1.0868
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.6 per cent to 143.30 per dollar

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin fell 2.2 per cent to $18,823.63
  • Ether fell 2.4 per cent to $1,292.77

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined four basis points to 3.68 per cent
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced six basis points to 2.02 per cent
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced 33 basis points to 3.83 per cent

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 5.3 per cent to $79.06 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 1.7 per cent to $1,651.80 an ounce

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Retail sales fall for 1st time this year as consumers start to tap out – CBC News

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Facing sky-high inflation, consumers put away their wallets more often in July, new data revealed Friday, as retail sales fell for the first time since 2021.

Canadian retailers rang up $61.3 billion in sales in July, Statistics Canada reported Friday. That’s a decline of 2.5 per cent from the previous month’s level as lower sales at gas stations and clothing stores led the way down.

Sales at gas stations fell by 14 per cent. A big part of that was lower prices for the fuel itself, but even in volume terms sales were down by seven per cent. Fewer people were filling up during the month, which was in keeping with the vehicle segment overall as auto sales edged down 0.5 per cent. Both new and used car dealers reported declines.

Consumables like food and drink also weren’t flying off the shelves, as supermarkets and grocery stores saw sales slip by 0.9 per cent, while liquor stores saw a decline of 1.2 per cent.

The soft retail sales numbers suggest consumers are starting to put away their wallets in the face of sky-high prices and a gloomy outlook for the economy.

“This retail sales report was unambiguously weak, suggesting that consumers tightened their purse strings in July,” TD Bank economist Ksenia Bushmeneva said of the numbers. “Consumer demand appears to have broadly cooled across most categories of spending.”

“All in all, given the triple headwinds emanating from higher consumer prices, rapidly rising interest rates and a drop in wealth, consumers are becoming more frugal,” she said.

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