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Stocks rise for second day with stimulus in sight – BNNBloomberg.ca

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U.S. stocks posted their first back-to-back gains since Feb. 12 as investors awaited unprecedented government spending packages aimed at countering the hit from the coronavirus pandemic. Ten-year Treasury yields were steady.

The S&P 500 Index logged its biggest two-day advance since November 2008 after overnight negotiations in Congress paved the way for a vote on the stimulus bill this week. Boeing Co. rallied 24 per cent, lifting the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average toward its best two days since 1987. The blue-chip index is still down about 25 per cent from its February record.

Stocks fell from the day’s highs late in the session after Republican senators raised objections to the unemployment benefits section of the stimulus bill, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders threatened to hold up the legislation unless those objections were dropped. Apple Inc. was said to be discussing delaying its 5G iPhone, also weighing on sentiment.

Despite hopes surrounding the stimulus, James Bullard of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank told reporters that he expects jobless claims to surge and said the U.S. won’t resume normal life until people feel safe.

“The agreement of a US$2 trillion stimulus can help cushion the blow to the economy, but we don’t think that it’s all systems go for risk assets,” said Mark McCormick, global head of FX strategy at Toronto Dominion Bank. “At least, the path ahead will be choppy.”

Equities also gained in Europe, where leaders are inching toward a fiscal package of their own. In Asia, a regional stock benchmark is posting the best one-day increase since 2008. West Texas crude rebounded somewhat after falling below US$25 a barrel. The dollar dropped for a second day versus its biggest peers.

Investors are seeing U.S. and global equity indexes posting their first consecutive daily gains since just before the rout began a month ago, even as economies from Milan to Seattle reel from the deepening pandemic. With infections mounting globally and Spain reporting more than 700 deaths in a single day, traders are reminded that the threat to the global economy is well alive.

“These markets are trading on sentiment. Shifting between panic to optimism,” said Nathan Thooft, Manulife Investment Management’s head of global asset allocation. “At the macro level, policy keeps evolving, and the economic data we know is going to be bad, but magnitudes are a wild card and there is little certainty on duration.”

Spot gold drifted lower after a squeeze of historic proportions pushed its prices to the biggest one-day gain since November 2008 on Tuesday. The closing of refineries and demand for physical gold had caused a disconnect between prices in London and New York.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index rose 1.2 per cent as of 4:04 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 3.1 per cent.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 5.6 per cent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 1.2 per cent.
  • The euro gained 0.9 per cent to US$1.0888.
  • The British pound advanced 1.1 per cent to US$1.1886.
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 111.18 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.84 per cent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield rose six basis points to -0.262 per cent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield slid three basis points to 0.445 per cent.

Commodities

  • Gold declined 1.3 per cent to US$1,610.41 an ounce.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.5 per cent to US$24.37 a barrel.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney talking to Washington about tariffs on Saudi and Russian oil – Financial Post

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LONDON — U.S. and Canadian officials are discussing the imposition of tariffs on Saudi Arabian and Russian oil imports if the two members of the OPEC+ group do not quickly reach a deal to end their price war.

Jason Kenney, the premier of Alberta, told the Financial Times he had held discussions with Washington about tariffs, as a global deal to reduce production appeared to be hanging by a thread.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called on rival oil producers to cut production by as much as 15 million barrels a day, but said on Friday that tariffs “are one tool in the tool box” if Saudi Arabia and Russia do not quickly reduce supplies, threatening a deepening schism with Washington’s key Middle East ally.

Kenney said “prospective import tariffs on oil coming into North America” were under discussion with Washington, even as he signalled Alberta would be open to participating with OPEC in cuts to oil supplies.


Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage speaks to several thousand pro pipeline protesters rallying at Stampede Park during the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary in June, 2019.

Gavin Young/Postmedia

Sonya Savage, Alberta’s energy minister, would dial into the online OPEC+ meeting this coming week, he said.

“OPEC+ started this fire and they have to put it out. We’re not going to surrender our industry and we’re prepared to go the distance here,” he said.

Canadian provinces have autonomy over oil production policy, but joint tariffs with the U.S. would require federal approval from Ottawa.

U.S. officials confirmed the Department of Energy was studying whether tariffs would be a viable way to force Saudi Arabia and Russia’s hand, though the discussions are preliminary and among several other options.

The White House declined to comment.

“The U.S. seems more likely to show up to next week’s OPEC+ virtual meeting with credible threats of reprisals than commitments to reduce production,” said Clearview Energy Partners, a Washington consultancy.

Trump has pushed Saudi Arabia and Russia to get a deal to remove as much as 15 per cent of global oil supplies, but the two countries remain at loggerheads, with an online OPEC+ meeting now pushed back from Monday until later in the week after the two sides traded barbs.


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is now at odds with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Juan Mabromata /AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that a cut to global oil production of 10 million barrels a day was possible, but only if all major producers including the U.S. joined in. But he jeopardized the potential for a deal when he accused Saudi Arabia of launching the price war to hurt U.S. shale producers, in an apparent attempt to drive a wedge between Riyadh and Washington.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan both attacked the statement on Saturday, with the latter saying they were “fully devoid of truth” and accusing Russia of “falsifying facts”.

The prospect of a deal drove oil prices up around 40 percent over Thursday and Friday, recovering from an 18-year low below $25 a barrel to above $30 a barrel. They remain down by more than half since the beginning of the year.

The price slump has threatened the future of U.S. and Canadian oil producers who generally require higher prices to turn a profit.

Global demand for oil has plunged almost 40 percent, Trump noted on Friday, the biggest drop in history as measures to slow the spread of coronavirus hit economic activity.

Independent U.S. oil producers have pushed the White House to force Saudi Arabia and Russia to end the price war that has deepened the slump, including proposing tighter sanctions on Russian energy, bans on foreign oil imports, and targeting the Saudi-owned Motiva refinery in Texas.

Trump on Friday alluded to a suspension of U.S. military aid to Saudi Arabia, when he said “we provide military assistance to countries for pretty much free . . . and they don’t even like us”.

Additional reporting by Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

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No winning ticket for Friday night's $70 million Lotto Max jackpot – CTV News

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TORONTO —
No winning ticket was sold for the $70 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.

However, five of the 19 Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each were won by ticket holders in the Prairies and in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Apr. 7 will again be $70 million and there will be 20 Maxmillions prizes up for grabs.

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Demand Destruction Will Decimate Oil Prices – OilPrice.com

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Demand Destruction Will Decimate Oil Prices | OilPrice.com

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    I have been warning since January that the long-term ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the oil industry could be significant and long-lasting. In March we saw significant impacts on price and demand. What we don’t know is how long this crisis will last.

    But, I believe we are in the midst of an existential crisis for the oil industry as we know it. This will not be the same industry after this dark period ends. Only the strongest companies are going to survive the financial pain that lies ahead.

    There are many variables in this equation, and they are constantly changing. Demand is plummeting, production and prices are following, and Saudi Arabia and Russia are jockeying to hold onto market share.

    Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trading company, has said that oil demand could slump as much as 20 million barrels per day (BPD) over the next few weeks, which would lead to an annual decline of 5 million BPD. Vitol CEO Russell Hardy said “It’s pretty huge in terms of anything we’ve had to deal with before.”

    Goldman Sachs said it expected March demand to be down 10.5 million BPD, followed by a further decline to 18.7 million BPD in April. The company noted that this deep plunge would be beyond the ability of OPEC to counteract: “A demand shock of this magnitude will overwhelm any supply response including any potential core-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries output freeze or cut.”

    Related: U.S. Shale Ready To Fire Back In The Oil Price War

    Meanwhile, benchmark prices have temporarily settled in the lower $20s, but local prices have dropped even further. In a story that warned of the largest idling of oil wells in the past 35 years, Oilprice.com reported that last week some crude prices were trading in the $1 per barrel range

    The oil and gas sector has been crushed, and there will be a great deal of collateral damage. It’s hard to see when the sector will emerge from this crisis, or what the supply situation will be when we do. But it’s inevitable that there will be fewer players in the sector when this crisis ends.

    By Robert Rapier

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