- OPEC Cuts Oil Production, But More Work Needed to Fulfill Deal
OPEC cut output by 840,000 barrels a day last month, but has more work to do to fully comply with last year’s historic production deal.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.3 million barrels a day in January, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. The 10 members of the group that pledged to make cuts in Vienna two months ago implemented 83 percent of those reductions on average, but their efforts were offset by increases from Iran, Nigeria and Libya that were permitted under the terms of the agreement.
Accounting for the members who raised output and the suspension of Indonesia, OPEC’s total output remains 550,000 barrels a day above the target set out in the Nov. 30 deal. That means the group as a whole is only about 60 percent of the way toward the production level it deems necessary to eliminate a global oversupply and boost prices.
Oil has fluctuated above $50 a barrel since OPEC joined with 11 non-members in December to trim supply by as much as 1.8 million barrels a day. While Middle Eastern producers from Saudi Arabia to Iraq have implemented cuts and Russia says it’s ahead of schedule with its own reduction, wary investors are also considering signs that U.S. drillers are taking advantage of higher prices to stage a comeback.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, led the January cuts with a reduction of half a million barrels a day, going below 10 million for the first time in almost two years. Its allies the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait followed by cutting a combined 310,000 barrels a day.
Production in Iraq, which tried and failed to secure an exemption from the cuts, declined by 120,000 barrels a day to 4.51 million. The Bloomberg News survey may vary from the independent estimates compiled by OPEC known as the secondary sources, which are the basis of the accord.
At the same time, OPEC members not required to make cuts added 270,000 barrels a day in January.
Libya ramped up output to 690,000 barrels a day, the highest level in more than two years, as it reopened fields and export terminals that had been disrupted by conflict. Nigeria, also wracked by internal unrest, boosted production by 9.3 percent to 1.64 million barrels a day. Iran, which was allowed to continue restoring output to pre-sanctions levels, pumped 3.8 million barrels a day, the most since 2010.
OPEC’s agreement lasts for six months, with the goal of shrinking bloated oil inventories that are keeping a lid on prices. While the organization has the option to prolong the deal, some members, including de-facto leader Saudi Arabia, have said an extension may not be necessary.
OPEC is hoping to achieve 100 percent compliance with the pledged cuts, according to the Kuwaiti oil minister, who is chair of committee that monitors the agreement. In the last organized cuts in 2008, OPEC’s compliance rate stood at 70 percent, according to Hasan Qabazard, OPEC’s former head of research.
Russia, the largest of the non-members participating in the deal, curbed production by 117,000 barrels a day last month, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday. Russia pledged to gradually reduce supply by as much as 300,000 barrels a day, more than half the total non-OPEC pledge for a 558,000-barrel-a-day reduction.
Global Oil Drops as Coronavirus Infections Rises in India and Other Nations
Oil prices declined on Monday during the Asian trading session amid rising concerns that the surge in coronavirus in India and other nations could force regulators to enforce stronger measures at curbing its spread and eventually affect economic activity and drag on demand for commodities like crude oil.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 22 cents or 0.33 percent to $66.55 per barrel at 8:19 am Nigerian time on Monday, following a 6 percent surge last week.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 18 cents or 0.29 percent to $62.95 per barrel, after it gained 6.4 percent last week.
The decline was after India reported 261,500 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, taking the country’s total cases to almost 14.8 million, second to only the United States that has reported over 31 million coronavirus infections.
“With … a resurgence of virus cases in India and Japan, topside ambitions continue to run into walls of profit-taking,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
Businesses in Japan believed the world’s third-largest economy will experience a fourth round of coronavirus infections, with many bracing for an additional slow down in economic activity.
While Japan has had fewer COVID-19 cases when compared with other major economies, concerns about a new wave of infections are fast rising, according to responses in Reuters poll.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2020, Hong Kong will suspend all from India, Pakistan and the Philippines because of imported coronavirus infections, authorities stated in a statement released on Sunday.
India’s COVID-19 death rose by a record 1,501 to hit 177,150.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
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