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European Stocks Climb With Asia Shares; Pound Weakens Before BOE

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European equities gained while Asian stocks advanced, rebounding from their worst day since the aftermath of the Brexit vote, as crude oil held onto a recovery. The pound retreated with the Bank of England expected to cut interest rates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained after U.S. shares advanced Wednesday. Mining shares and energy producers drove the Asian index up from its lowest level since June 24, the day when referendum results showed Britain had decided to leave the European Union. U.S. crude extended gains into a second session after the steepest drop in American gasoline supplies since April soothed concern over a glut. The greenback rose before Friday’s jobs data and metals declined amid concern about increased supply from China.

The global equity rebound that took hold in July started to falter as August opened, with oil descending into a bear market and data failing to bolster confidence in the world economy. While central banks and governments have signaled unprecedented support, Japan’s latest efforts — which include monetary and fiscal stimulus — haven’t had their intended effect amid concern the plans won’t be enough to revive price growth. The Bank of England is expected to cut benchmark interest rates on Thursday, while non-farm payrolls data in the U.S. Friday could provide clues for Federal Reserve policy.

“The theme remains dominant in markets that monetary policy has effectively done as much as it can and that reflation, if required, should come via other means,” Sharon Zollner, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank of New Zealand Ltd., said in a note to clients. “The reality is that interest rates remain at record-low levels and, in an environment of moderate growth and low inflation, that is supportive of higher-yielding assets and Asia-Pacific markets should continue to benefit, as long as the growth picture holds together.”

Stocks

The European index rose 0.5 percent as of 8:07 a.m. in London. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent, following last session’s 1.9 percent slide. The index, which jumped 5.8 percent in July, is down about 1 percent this week.

The Topix index climbed 0.9 percent as the yen reversed some of its recent advance. The stocks gauge had also dropped by the most in more than five weeks on Wednesday.

India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.2 percent, led by automakers and logistics companies that benefit from the passage of a national sales tax bill on Wednesday. Tata Motors Ltd., owner of Jaguar Land Rover, jumped 4 percent to be the strongest performer.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed, following a 0.3 percent increase in the underlying index on Wednesday. The U.S. benchmark had fallen 0.8 percent over the previous two sessions.

“There’s slow movement in a market that’s looking for a reason to go up or go down — it just hasn’t found any,” said Jeff Carbone, managing partner of Cornerstone Financial Partners, which oversees almost $1.1 billion in assets in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We haven’t seen that breakout that would suggest the market is based on fundamentals, it’s still very tied to central banks.”

Currencies

The yen weakened 0.3 percent to 101.54 per dollar, adding to its 0.4 percent slide on Wednesday.

Japan’s currency has gained about 0.5 percent this week, as traders weigh the BOJ’s decision last Friday to only bolster purchases of exchange-traded funds, as well as a fiscal package flagged Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Aussie added 0.1 percent and Malaysia’s ringgit bounced with oil, climbing 0.3 percent from a four-day low. The rupee rose 0.1 percent.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, was up 0.1 percent after rising 0.3 percent on Wednesday, when emerging-market currencies led declines.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told reporters Wednesday that a rate hike “could be appropriate this year.” Odds on the Fed boosting benchmark borrowing costs in 2016 have dropped to 39 percent, with last week’s weaker-than-expected U.S. growth data damping expectations of tightening.

Sterling declined 0.2 percent to $1.3295. The BOE is expected to cut its benchmark from a record low of 0.5 percent and may boost an asset purchase program that stands at 375 billion pounds ($500 billion).

Bonds

Australian sovereign bonds retreated, with 10-year yields rising two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 1.95 percent, building on Wednesday’s 11 basis-point jump. Similar maturity Japanese debt yielded minus 0.08 percent, up 1 1/2 basis points.

Treasuries were little changed, with yields on notes due in a decade steady at 1.55 percent. Ten-year rates jumped at the start of this week, as the record-setting rally in global bonds appeared to falter. Yields on German 10-year bunds were also steady, at minus 0.04 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $40.84 per barrel, after Wednesday’s 3.3 percent rebound that came when U.S. government data showed gasoline stockpiles fell by 3.26 million barrels last week, the most since April. Brent crude fell 0.2 percent to $43 a barrel.

WTI is still down more than 1 percent this week, after the commodity sold off on Monday and Tuesday amid resurgent concern over a global glut. Citigroup Inc. to Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted the slump would be short-lived, while Societe Generale SA said the price correction would be limited due to a better balance between supply and demand.

“We’re seeing rebalancing,” Scott Darling, regional head of oil and gas at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “We think in the near-term, oil will be under pressure because demand is moderating.”

Gold for immediate delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1,351.59 an ounce, after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday. Last session’s retreat halted the precious metal’s longest rally in a month.

Copper dropped 2 percent to $10,525 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel also fell 2 percent, while Aluminum was down 0.4 percent.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Extends Gain to $86.66 a Barrel Amid Tight Supply

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Brent crude oil - Investors King

Tight global oil supply pushed Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, to a multi-year high of $86.66 per barrel on Monday at 3:30 pm Nigerian time.

Oil price was lifted by rising fuel demand in the United States and tight global supply as economies recover from pandemic-induced slumps.

The global energy supply crunch continues to show its teeth, as oil prices extend their upward march this week, a result of traders pricing in the ongoing rise in fuel demand – which amid limited supply response is depleting global stockpiles,” said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy.

Goldman Sachs on the other hand is predicting a further increase in Brent crude oil to $90 a barrel, citing a strong rebound in global oil demand due to switching from gas to oil. This the bank estimated may contribute about 1 million barrels per day to global oil demand.

The investment bank said it expects oil demand to reach around 100 million barrels per day as consumption in Asia increases after the devastating effect of COVID-19.

While not our base-case, such persistence would pose upside risk to our $90/bbl year-end Brent price forecast,” Goldman said in a research note dated Oct. 24.

Earlier this month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, known as OPEC+ agreed to continue increasing oil supply by 400,000 bpd a month until April 2022 despite calls for an increase in global oil supplies.

The decision bolstered the price of Brent crude oil above $84 per barrel and expected to push the price even further to $90 a barrel. Low global oil supply amid rising demand for crude oil will continue to support oil prices in the near term.

Despite the recent power cuts and impacts to industrial activity in China, oil demand is likely instead supported by switching to diesel powered generators and diesel engines in LNG trucks, as well as by a ramp up in coal production,” Goldman Sachs stated.

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Energy

U.S. and Ghana Inaugurate New $64.7 Million Energy Infrastructure Investment at Pokuase

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electricity

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan joined the President of Ghana H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and other Ghana government officials to formally inaugurate the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP) in Accra today.  The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funded the $64.7 million (GH₵ 391.9 million) electrical infrastructure project under the Ghana Power Compact.

“The Pokuase Bulk Supply Point represents sustainable infrastructure investment by the United States with Ghana that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians now and into the future,” remarked Ambassador Sullivan at the inaugural event. “It will help deliver more reliable power to the people, places, and businesses of Accra that drive increased economic activity benefitting families, businesses, and communities.”

This represents a flagship investment under the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Ghana Power Compact.  The Pokuase BSP will reduce outages in the power system, help stabilize voltages, and improve the quality and reliability of power supplied to the northern parts of the capital city of Accra.  It will also reduce technical losses in the power transmission and distribution system, contributing to the financial viability of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) in the long term.  The Pokuase BSP is now the largest-capacity BSP in Ghana at 580 megavolt amperes (MVA) and will directly benefit 350,000 utility customers.

The Government of Ghana implemented the project through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA).  MiDA formally handed over the new power substation to ECG and GRIDCo in today’s ceremony.

The Pokuase BSP is the first major construction project to be completed under the Ghana Power Compact. The $316 million compact is helping the Government of Ghana improve the power sector through investments that will provide more reliable and affordable electricity to Ghana’s businesses and households. The compact is also funding a BSP at Kasoa and two primary substations at Kanda and Legon, in addition to other power sector investments, energy efficiency programs, and women’s empowerment programs within the power sector. The compact program will officially close on June 6, 2022.

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Crude Oil

Oil Falls Slightly as China Steps in to Curb Rising Coal Prices

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Crude oil - Investors King

Global oil prices moderated slightly on Wednesday following the Chinese government’s decision to curb high coal prices and ensure coal mines function at maximum capacity.

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped to $83.98 per barrel at 11:00 am Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 80 cents or 1 percent to $81.20 a barrel.

“China is planning to take steps to combat the steep rises in the domestic coal market … which could put considerable pressure on the coal price there and reverse the fuel switch to oil,” Commerzbank said.

Prices for Chinese coal and other commodities slumped in early trade, which in turn pulled oil down from an uptick earlier in the day.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission said on Tuesday it would bring coal prices back to a reasonable range and crack down on any irregularities that disturb market order or malicious speculation on thermal coal futures. read more

Oil markets in general remain supported on the back of a global coal and gas crunch, which has driven a switch to diesel and fuel oil for power generation.

But the market on Wednesday was also pressured by data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group which showed U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 15, according to market sources.

That was well above nine analysts’ forecasts for a rise of 1.9 million barrels in crude stocks, in a Reuters poll.

However, U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories, which include diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, fell much more than analysts had expected, pointing to strong demand.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due later on Wednesday.

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