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UK Retail Sales Miss Forecast in September



UK retail sales
  • UK Retail Sales Miss Forecast in September

Britain’s retail sector performed slightly worse than expected, as the amount of items bought fell short of expectations, official figures released on Thursday (20 October) showed.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail sales rose 4.1% on an annual basis in September, compared with an upwardly revised 6.6% increase in August and analysts’ expectations for a 4.9% gain.

The revised figure means retail sales in the quarter were 5.4% higher than in the corresponding period in 2015, the largest increase since August 2014.

With the exception of textile, clothing and footwear sales grew in all other sectors, the ONS said, adding the largest contribution came from non-store retailing.

On a month-on-month basis, retail sales were unchanged from the previous month, compared with a 0.3% drop recorded in August and analysts’ expectations for a 0.2% gain.

The ONS added the underlying pattern in the retail sector continued to show relatively strong growth with retail sales increasing by 1.8% on a quarterly basis.

Meanwhile, average store prices including petrol stations fell 1.1% year-on-year, with declines recorded across all store types, except textile, clothing and footwear stores and petrol stations. The drop, however, was the smallest decrease since August 2014.

Earlier this week, ONS data showed inflation – as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) – in Britain hit the highest level since November 2014 last month. CPI grew 1% year-on-year in September, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 0.9% increase and after climbing 0.6% in August. On a month-on-month basis, meanwhile, inflation edged 0.2% higher, in line with expectations and slightly below the 0.3% gain posted in the previous month.

“While flat retail sales in September could be a sign that consumers are starting to rein in their spending as inflation rises, it should be borne in mind that sales were held back in September by warm weather markedly hitting demand for autumn clothing,” said Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Markit.

“Higher clothing prices were also seemingly a factor. Furthermore, retail sales were still very strong over the third quarter as a whole, and there could have been an element of some consumers taking a breather after splashing out over the summer.”

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


Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd




The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.

The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.

The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.

The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.

Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.

The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.

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Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins



Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.

This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.

Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.

On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.

Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”

The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.

There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.

“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”

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Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020




Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.

EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.

If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.

The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.

It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.

It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.

“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”

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