The number of Americans filing for unemployment claims improved last week to a two-month low, indicating that the labor market is still strong and adding jobs.
The unemployment claims declined 8,000 to 252,000 for the week ended Sept. 17, according to the Labor Department report released on Thursday. This is the lowest unemployment claims since mid-July and 81 consecutive weeks that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold. Economists had earlier predicted 262,000 unemployment claims for last week.
On a four-week moving average that irons out week to week volatility, the unemployment claims dropped 2,250 to 258,500 last week.
Although, the rate of job growth has slowed from a monthly average of 186,000 recorded in the first seven months of the year, it is well above the 100,000 that Fed Chair said is required to absorb new entrants into the job market.
However, the Federal Reserve left interest rate unchanged on Wednesday, but signaled that it could raise rates by the end of the year if the economy pick up and the labor market continued to progress.
The US dollar dropped against all its counterparts to trade lower than the previous week when the odds of the Fed raising rates was higher.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
News3 weeks ago
Heartbroken American Mistress Displays Dangote’s Buttocks in a Viral Video
News3 weeks ago
FCMB Group MD Links to Death of Tunde Thomas, Husband of Married Staff He Fathered Her Kids
Crude Oil4 weeks ago
Crude Oil Rose to Almost $52 Per Barrel After Trump Signs Stimulus Package
Finance3 weeks ago
President Buhari Increases Npower Budget by N365 Billion
Investment2 weeks ago
London Real Estate Company for African Investors Announces its Launch
News3 weeks ago
Tunde Thomas: FCMB Commences Review Into Allegations of Unethical Behavior Against MD Nuru
Technology4 weeks ago
Chinese Government Goes After Jack Ma and Empire
Brands3 weeks ago
Prada’s Profits Drop by $219 Million, Sales in China Up by 60%