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Russia Won't Blink First In The Oil Price War – OilPrice.com

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Russia Won’t Blink First In The Oil Price War | 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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    Russia will not be the one to first demand a stop to the oil price war with Saudi Arabia because Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to yield to what he sees as “Saudi blackmail,” sources familiar with Moscow’s thinking told Bloomberg.   

    The OPEC+ coalition between OPEC’s leader Saudi Arabia and the leader of the non-OPEC nations in the production cut deal, Russia, abruptly ended earlier this month after Russia refused to back a huge additional supply cut in response to depressed demand. Saudi Arabia didn’t take that break-up too well, and made a U-turn in its oil policy, saying it will be pumping at will and supply the oil market with record-high volumes of crude oil in the coming months.

    Russia isn’t backing down either, promising to boost production, too.

    OPEC members Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are flooding the oversupplied market with oil, going for Russia’s market share, while Russian oil firms also plan to boost production as of April 1.

    Putin doesn’t have immediate plans to contact either the Crown Prince or the King of Saudi Arabia, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, as carried by TASS.

    “Putin is known for not submitting to pressure,” Alexander Dynkin, head of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow, told Bloomberg. The institute is a state-run think tank which advises the Russian government on topics of international and economic relations.   

    Both Russia and Saudi Arabia are set to suffer from the oil price war, as $30 oil is below both countries’ fiscal breakevens, especially below Saudi Arabia’s $80-plus oil price breakeven.

    Russia admitted this week that its revenues from oil and gas would be US$39.5 billion (3 trillion rubles) lower than planned due to the tumbling oil prices, and that Russia’s budget would be in deficit this year.

    Neither Saudi Arabia nor Russia are currently backing down from the oil price war, but the one who blinks first will likely be the one whose finances will be hurt more.

    By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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      China’s March Factory Outlook Jumps as Global Threat Looms – Yahoo Canada Finance

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      (Bloomberg) — Chinese manufacturing activity rebounded strongly in March, signaling that the world’s second-largest economy is restarting just as it faces a growing threat from slumping external demand.

      For manufacturing, the official purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.0 this month, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. That’s up from a record low of 35.7 in February and above the 50 mark which signals improving conditions. The gauge covering services and construction was at 52.3.

      While the rise indicates better sentiment at Chinese factories, output remains a long way from normal. The survey asks firms to state how business was compared to last month, so the data just show that Chinese companies think things have improved from the sharpest contraction since at least 2005, when the series began.

      China is still expected to have an unprecedented economic contraction this quarter, something that would have been unthinkable before the viral outbreak. The outlook for the April-June period depends both on how quickly domestic demand can rebound now the virus is contained, and the strength of demand from overseas markets like the U.S. which are facing their own spikes in infections.

      “The number above 50 doesn’t mean that economic activity is fully resumed,” Zhang Liqun, a researcher at China Logistics Information Center, which helps compile the data, said in a statement on its website. “We need to fully understand the unprecedented austerity and complexity, and should pay great attention to the virus shocks on production and demand.”

      The Second Virus Shockwave Is Hitting China’s Factories Already

      S&P 500 futures erased gains after hitting their highs Tuesday morning after the data. Asian stocks were mixed.

      Chinese factories, which endured weeks of work suspensions in February after travel and trade stopped nationwide, are now facing canceled export orders as the pandemic hits the rest of the world.

      “While manufacturing PMI rebounded rapidly in March, the survey showed companies still face relatively big operational pressures,” the NBS said in a statement, adding that more firms are reporting funding shortages and falling demand than in February. “The global virus spread will hit the world economy and trade seriously and bring new, severe challenges to the Chinese economy.”

      A sub-index of new export orders rose to 46.4 in March, up from 28.7. A manufacturing employment indicator stood at 50.9, compared with 31.8 in February.

      What Bloomberg’s Economists Say…

      “Despite improving conditions, the Chinese economy has not returned to normal, and faces challenges unseen for decades on both domestic and external fronts. Policy support is likely to be stepped up, especially fiscal measures. We also expect more monetary policy easing.”

      — Chang Shu and David Qu, Bloomberg Economics

      See here for the full note

      Around the region data showed a mixed picture for industry. Japanese industrial output rose slightly in February from January, boosted by output of electronics in the period before the virus really started to hit global supply chains. Car production was down and total output is forecast to drop 5.3% this month.

      South Korean output dropped 3.8% in February from January, with much of that caused by a shortage of auto parts affecting car production, according to Citigroup economists.

      In China’s services and construction sectors, while the headline number rose above 50, much of the underlying activity was still in contraction, with employment at 47.7 and new export orders at 38.6. That indicates companies don’t want to hire before they can confirm there’s been a solid return of business activities, according to Iris Pang, Chief Greater China Economist at ING NV in Hong Kong.

      “This won’t change overall policy stance,” according to Zhou Hao, an economist at Commerzbank AG. “I think the government is looking at the hard data to determine the policy steps, which is probably pointing to further economic headwinds and more policy support.”

      (Adds markets in sixth paragraph, data on Japanese and South Korean output from 10th paragraph.)

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      China shows strong factory activity in March – MarketWatch

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      BEIJING–An official gauge of China’s manufacturing activity rebounded strongly in March as factory production resumed after the coronavirus epidemic was largely put under control in the country.

      The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.0 in March from a record low of 35.7 in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. The 50 mark separates expansion of activity from contraction.

      The March result came in above the median forecast of 51.5 by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Purchasing by manufacturers is a leading indicator of business activity because factories buy supplies in anticipation of demand.

      The statistics bureau said the reading only reflects work resumption from February and it doesn’t mean China’s economic activity has returned to normal.

      The production subindex climbed to 54.1 from 27.8 in February. The new-export-orders subindex, a gauge of external demand, rose to 46.4 in March from 28.7 in February. The subindex measuring imports increased to 48.4 from February’s 31.9.

      The government has rolled out a slew of measures to help factories resume production and retain workers, including offering tax cuts and cash returns. The People’s Bank of China on Monday lowered a key interest rate in the country’s interbank market, the latest effort by Beijing to restart an economy struggling to recover due to the coronavirus.

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      Most actively traded companies on the TSX – Yahoo Canada Finance

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      TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:

      <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Toronto Stock Exchange (13,038.50, up 350.76 points.)” data-reactid=”13″>Toronto Stock Exchange (13,038.50, up 350.76 points.)

      Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down three cents, or 6.59 per cent, to 42.5 cents on 17.5 million shares.

      Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up $2.54, or 15.46 per cent, to $18.97 on 15.6 million shares.

      Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Energy. Up $2.40, or 18.02 per cent, to $15.72 on 15.5 million shares.

      Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 17 cents, or 11.64 per cent, to $1.29 on 15.2 million shares.

      Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Energy. Up six cents, or 2.55 per cent, to $2.41 on 11.4 million shares.

      MEG Energy Corp. (TSX:MEG). Energy. Up 27 cents, or 22.13 per cent, to $1.49 on 11.4 million shares.

      <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Companies in the news:” data-reactid=”20″>Companies in the news:

      Transat AT. (TSX:TRZ). Down 74 cents or 7.8 per cent, to $8.75. The Competition Bureau’s warning about Air Canada’s proposed takeover of Transat AT Inc., which owns Air Transat, should be taken in context, analysts say. The watchdog said Friday that eliminating the rivalry between the two Montreal-based carriers would discourage competition by prompting higher prices and fewer services. Desjardins Securities analyst Benoit Poirier said he believes the purchase will still be approved “considering the companies’ willingness to address the bureau’s competition concerns,” such as potential dominance of airport slots.

      Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM). Up $1.33 to $79. An Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled against the CIBC in an overtime class-action lawsuit filed more than a decade ago. Judge Edward Belobaba found the bank liable for breaching its overtime obligations to a class of about 31,000 current and former tellers, personal bankers and other front-line workers in branches across Canada.

      Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. (TSX:CAR.UN). down 23 cents to $41.90. Some of Canada’s biggest landlords say they’re committed to working with tenants who have lost their job because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mark Kenney, CEO of Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, says the company is committed to working with those who have suddenly lost their job, and is “violently against” evicting anyone who’s in distress.

      Freshii Inc. (TSX:FRII). Down one cent to $1.23. Freshii Inc. is delaying the filing of its latest financial results as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on its restaurants and franchise partners. The company says it has also temporarily “streamlined its head office workforce” in a move to cut costs. It did not say how many people were affected. Freshii says the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a material impact on its business, operations and financial performance for at least the first half of 2020.

      Parkland Fuel Corp. (TSX:PKI). Up 85 cents or 3.5 per cent to $25.05. Parkland Fuel Corp. is cutting its 2020 capital spending budget by 52 per cent and trimming executive salaries in response to the uncertain economic impact of the novel coronavirus. The Calgary-based company, which sells fuel through more than 2,600 service stations throughout Canada and in the United States and Caribbean, says it plans to spend $275 million this year, down from its earlier guidance of $575 million.

      Air Canada (TSX:AC). Down 67 cents or four per cent to $1608. Air Canada will temporarily lay off more than 15,000 unionized workers beginning this week as the airline struggles with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The layoffs will continue through April and May amid drastically reduced flight capacity from the Montreal-based airline. Air Canada says the two-month furloughs will affect about one-third of management and administrative and support staff, including head office employees, in addition to the front-line workers.

      This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2020.

      The Canadian Press

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