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Oil’s 60% Crash Is the Tip of an Iceberg. The Reality Is Worse – Yahoo Canada Finance

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MADRID – Spanish army troops disinfecting nursing homes have found, to their horror, some residents living in squalor among the infectious bodies of people suspected of dying from the new coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday.Defence Minister Margarita Robles said the elderly residents were “completely left to fend for themselves, or even dead, in their beds.” She said the discovery over the weekend included several nursing homes but did not name them or say how many bodies were found.A judicial probe into the horrific discovery was opened Tuesday as Spain announced a record one-day jump of nearly 6,600 new coronavirus infections, bringing the overall total to more than 39,600. The number of deaths also leaped by a record 514 to almost 2,700, second only to Italy and China.As bodies piled up, Madrid took over a public skating rink as a makeshift morgue after the city facility overflowed. To date, 1,535 people have died in the hard-hit Spanish capital, more than half of the national total. The capital region has over 12,350 infections.“This is a tough week,” Dr. Fernando Simón, head of Spain’s health emergency centre, told a daily news briefing.Relatives of elderly people and retirement homes’ workers expressed growing concern about the situation at the centres.”With everything that is happening with the coronavirus, this was a ticking bomb,” said Esther Navarro, whose 97-year-old Alzheimer’s-stricken mother lives at the Usera Seniors’ Center in Madrid, where soldiers found some of the bodies.“Now we are bracing ourselves for the worst possible outcome,” she told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.A worker at the nursing home said at least two bodies had to remain in the home for a day before funeral workers, who are working around the clock, arrived to take them away.“We are very saddened, because the residents are almost like our own relatives due to the time we spend with them,” the worker, José Manuel Martín, told Cadena SER radio.Pedro Núñez said his father-in-law, Zoilo Patiño Lara, died at the nursing home from the virus on Saturday, although he was never diagnosed or taken to a hospital when symptoms appeared. The man, in his 80’s and suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s, was not removed until Sunday despite Núñez’s repeated calls to funeral home workers.Domusvi, the private company contracted by the Madrid regional government to run the Usera nursing home, confirmed that two residents died there over the weekend. A company spokeswoman, who declined to give her name, blamed the delay on funeral homes that failed to come quickly to take away the bodies.While most people suffer only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever or coughing. from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, for older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause far more severe illness, including pneumonia.Nursing homes worldwide have been especially hard hit. In the United States, several facilities have seen unusually high death tolls, and federal officials found that staff members who worked while sick at multiple long-term care facilities contributed to the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable elderly in the Seattle area.On Monday, federal regulators gave the Life Care Center in Kirkland three weeks to address the serious infractions that have been linked to the death of at least 37 residents. The nursing home failed to identify and manage sick residents and failed to notify health authorities in a way that placed residents in “immediate jeopardy,” regulators found.Besides Washington state, burgeoning outbreaks at nursing homes in Illinois, New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. have underscored long-running problems in the industry. As in Spain as well as in Italy, France and elsewhere in Europe, among the biggest problems has been a critical staffing shortage.In Spain, the government announced last week that it would take over control of senior-care facilities from private companies and, as part of an unprecedented aid package, set aside 300 million euros ($323 million) for adding additional social workers and caretakers.Although Spanish households have traditionally included three generations living under one roof, nursing homes have mushroomed across the country over the past two decades, with multinationals and investment funds entering the lucrative business. According to Spain’s official scientific research body, CSIC, there were 373,000 people in more than 5,400 nursing homes across the country in 2019.Miguel Vázquez, the president of Pladigmare, an association that fights for better conditions in Spain’s nursing homes, said the virus pandemic has forced a spotlight on the lack of personnel and resources that the wave of profit-seeking private investors has brought to the business of running the facilities.”Spain has turned a right to being properly cared for, as enshrined in our laws, into a business that benefits from saving costs,” Vázquez said, adding that private facilities have been even more opaque than usual since authorities trying to halt the spread of the coronavirus closed the residences to visitors earlier this month.“Now that relatives can’t get in, we don’t really know what’s going on there,” he said, adding that the situation was even more dire in the Spanish capital, where 92% of some 400 nursing homes are privately owned or managed.The head of AETE, which represents the country’s largest for-profit nursing home businesses, said that criticism for “localized problems” should not be extended to the whole industry, which he said has been urging authorities to provide additional protective gear for weeks.Jose Cubero also said that overburdened hospitals in Madrid were rejecting patients with COVID-19 from nursing homes.“We provide assistance but we are not health care facilities. The elderly also have the right to be treated in hospitals,” Cubero said.Simón, the doctor appointed by the Spanish government to co-ordinate its response to the outbreak, said that over 5,400 health workers have been infected by the coronavirus.“Everyone has been making a titanic effort, especially our health workers,” government spokeswoman María Jesús Montero told a televised daily news conference, where journalists submitted questions via messaging apps.At the Palacio de Hielo ice skating rink-turned-makeshift-morgue on the outskirts of Madrid, security forces guarded the premises as funeral vans entered the building via an underground car park. Madrid authorities took up the rink’s offer after the city’s municipal funeral service said it could take no more coronavirus victims until it restocked with more protective equipment.The city government said bodies would be held at the rink until they can be taken to be cremated or buried.Madrid has also turned two city hotels into hospitals to help with the overflow of virus patients and plans to convert five others. Madrid’s hotel association has offered 40 hotels to help medical workers. Madrid also set up a field hospital in the Ifema trade fair complex, where the U.N. climate conference COP25 was held in December.___Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakCiaráN Giles And Aritz Parra, The Associated Press

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Russia, Saudi Arabia, 'Very Close' To Reaching Oil Output Deal – OilPrice.com

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Russia, Saudi Arabia, ‘Very Close’ To Reaching Oil Output Deal | OilPrice.com

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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    Saudi Arabia and Russia are “very, very close” to reaching an agreement on how to react to the low oil prices, Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive at Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), told CNBC on Monday.

    “I think the whole market understands that this deal is important and it will bring lots of stability, so much important stability to the market, and we are very close,” Dmitriev told CNBC on the day on which the former allies were set to hold a video meeting with other major producers, including U.S. representatives, to try to hammer out an agreement for a global collective cut of 10 million bpd and even more.  

    The meeting is now delayed to later this week, possibly April 9, OPEC sources told Reuters, after the spat between the Saudis and the Russians over who broke up their partnership took a turn for the worse over the weekend.

    First, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak and President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Saudi Arabia withdrew from the OPEC+ agreement, announcing “significant additional discounts on their oil, as well as plans for a sharp increase in production,” as per the Kremlin’s English translation of a meeting between Putin and Novak on the global energy markets. 

    “As I said, we did not initiate the breakup of the OPEC+ deal. We are always ready to reach an agreement with our partners, in the OPEC+ format, and we are prepared to cooperate with the United States on this issue. I consider it necessary to pool our efforts to balance the market and reduce production as a result of these concerted and well-coordinated efforts. Based on tentative estimates, I believe the reduction should be about 10 million barrels per day, more or less,” Putin said.

    “The key partners in balancing the market should be producers like the United States,” Novak said, after noting that “Unfortunately, our partners from Saudi Arabia did not agree to extend the current deal on the current conditions. In fact, they withdrew from the agreement and announced significant additional discounts on their oil, as well as plans for a sharp increase in production.” Related: The Largest Rig Count Collapse In 5 Years

    Saudi Arabia reacted to these statements by putting out a statement from Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman, who said that, via the Saudi Press Agency:

    “These claims are categorically false and contrary to fact.”

    “His Royal Highness noted that the Kingdom has exerted great efforts with OPEC+ countries to take action to prevent a glut in the oil market resulting from a decline in the global economic growth. However, this proposal made by the Kingdom and approved by 22 countries, unfortunately was not agreed upon by the Russian delegates, leading to non-agreement,” Saudi Arabia said.

    While the Saudis and Russians spat over who is to blame, they both signal that they would not cut production if the U.S. doesn’t join a global effort to reduce output.  

    By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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      Oil prices pull back after OPEC and Russia delay discussions on cutting output – CBC.ca

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      Oil prices fell on Monday after Saudi Arabia and Russia delayed a meeting to discuss output cuts that could help to reduce global oversupply as the coronavirus pandemic pummels demand.

      Brent crude fell more than $3 US when Asian markets opened but recovered some ground, with traders hopeful a deal between the top producers was still within reach.

      Brent was down 81 cents, or 2.4 per cent, at $33.30 US a barrel. U.S. crude was 65 cents, or 2.3 per cent lower, at $27.69 a barrel, after having earlier been as low as $25.28.

      The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, are expected to meet on Thursday, instead of Monday, to discuss cutting production.

      “Perhaps it is best that the meeting was delayed for producers to cement a minimum of common ground before the actual discussions take place on Thursday,” BNP Paribas analyst Harry Tchilinguirian said. He noted initial disappointment at the delay had driven down prices in Asian business.

      Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was ready to co-ordinate with other oil exporting countries to help stabilize the market and that the OPEC+ meeting was delayed for technical reasons.

      OPEC+ is working on a deal to cut production by about 10 per cent of world supply, or 10 million barrels per day (bpd), in what member states expect to be an unprecedented global effort.

      But Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, Bjornar Tonhaugen, said even if the group agrees to cut up to 15 million bpd, “it will only be enough to scratch the surface of the more than 23 million bpd supply overhang predicted for April 2020.”

      Sentiment was lifted by Saudi Arabia’s decision to delay releasing its official crude selling prices to Friday, pending the outcome of the OPEC+ meeting.

      U.S. President Donald Trump has said he would impose tariffs on crude imports if needed to protect U.S. energy workers from the oil price crash.

      Investor morale in the eurozone fell to an all-time low in April and the bloc’s economy is in deep recession because of the novel coronavirus, a survey showed on Monday.

      “Wherever you look, the narrative is the same: the global economy is in a painful recession,” Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM said. “As OPEC+ ponders fresh supply curbs, you can’t help but think that the oil market will continue to be at the mercy of the virus pandemic.”

      Second wave of COVID-19 infections in China

      Markets were also spooked when the National Health Commission of China said on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of the day on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.

      Asymptomatic patients, who show no symptoms but can still pass the virus to others, have become China’s chief concern after strict containment measures succeeded in cutting the overall infection rate.

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      Premarket: Stocks jump on virus slowdown hopes, but oil slips on oversupply – The Globe and Mail

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      World stock markets jumped on Monday, encouraged by a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths and new cases, though a delay in talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut supply sent oil tumbling again.

      Equity investors were encouraged as the death toll from the virus slowed across major European nations including France and Italy.

      London’s FTSE raced up 2%, indexes in Paris and Milan rose 3% and Germany’s DAX gained more than 4% after Japan’s Nikkei finished with similar gains overnight.

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      There was plenty of news to demonstrate just how brutal the virus has been: eye-popping plunges in car sales and air travel in Europe, Britain’s prime minister being hospitalised , and Japan preparing to declare a state of emergency. But the markets appeared hopeful.

      Wall Street S&P 500 emini futures were up almost 4%, close to their upper limit too, buoyed by comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that his country was also seeing a “levelling off” of the crisis.

      “What is driving the market is the evidence that the number of new cases has started to turn the corner,” said Rabobank’s Head of Macro Strategy Elwin de Groot.

      As well as a slowdown in deaths in Italy, he said, improvements were starting to become visible in Spain and even in the United States there had been a little bit of a let-up.

      “When you see that happening you can start gauging when lockdowns can start to be gradually lifted. That gives a little bit more visibility and that is vital,” he added, although he stressed there were still huge uncertainties and risks.

      As has been the pattern for most of the year, commodity markets saw the day’s other big moves.

      Brent crude fell as much as $4 after Saudi Arabia and Russia, who have been at loggerheads this year over production, pushed back the planned start of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, until Thursday.

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      OPEC+ is working on a deal to cut oil production by about 10% of world supply, or 10 million barrels per day (bpd), in what member states expect to be an unprecedented global effort.

      The countries are “very, very close” to a deal on cuts, one of Russia’s top oil negotiators, Kirill Dmitriev, who heads the nation’s wealth fund, told CNBC.

      But Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets Bjornar Tonhaugen said even if the group agreed to cut up to 15 million bpd, “it will only be enough to scratch the surface of the more than 23 million bpd supply overhang predicted for April 2020.”

      EMERGENCY CALLS

      In currency markets, the yen fell 0.6% to 109.14 against the dollar and weakened against other major currencies as Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government would declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday to curb a spike in coronavirus infections.

      The dollar barely budged against the euro but the pound recovered having dipped 0.4% after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests as he was still suffering symptoms of the coronavirus.

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      Yields on safe-haven German government bonds crept higher in fixed income markets too, reflecting the slightly brighter tone in world markets despite some painful data.

      Investor morale in the euro zone fell to an all-time low in April and the currency bloc’s economy is now in deep recession due to the coronavirus, which is “holding the world economy in a stranglehold”, a Sentix survey showed.

      Orders for German-made goods had already dropped 1.4% in February, German data showed. British car sales slumped 40% last month and Norweigen Air’s traffic plummeted 60%.

      “Never before has the assessment of the current situation collapsed so sharply in all regions of the world within one month,” Sentix managing director Patrick Hussy said.

      “The situation is … much worse than in 2009,” Hussy said. “Economic forecasts to date underestimate the shrinking process. The recession will go much deeper and longer.”

      CRUCIAL TEST

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      In Asia, stocks had also proven bullish. Australia’s benchmark index rose 4.33%, Japan’s Nikkei added 4.24% after a slow start, while South Korea’s KOSPI index climbed 3.85%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 2.18% higher.

      That sent MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares outside of Japan up 2%, on track for its best performance in more than a week.

      Markets in mainland China were closed for a public holiday.

      Worryingly, the number of new coronavirus cases jumped in China on Sunday, while the number of asymptomatic cases surged too as Beijing continued to struggle to extinguish the outbreak despite drastic containment efforts.

      “Focus in markets will now turn to the path out of lockdown and to what extent containment measures can be lifted without risking a second wave of infections,” National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland wrote in a note.

      “Key to a strong rebound in China will be the ongoing lifting of containment measures, with Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – set to lift containment measures on April 8.”

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      Reuters

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