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U.K. Manufacturing Growth Surges to Fastest in Three Years

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  • U.K. Manufacturing Growth Surges to Fastest in Three Years

U.K. manufacturing unexpectedly grew at the fastest pace in three years in April as the domestic market strengthened and the pound’s depreciation boosted exports.

A measure of factory conditions rose to 57.3 from 54.2 in March, according to IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index. That’s far better than the 54 forecast by economists in a survey and above the 50 level dividing expansion from contraction. Growth in new orders and exports also gathered pace.

The pound rose immediately after the survey was released, before paring its advance, and was little changed at $1.2894 as of 10:40 a.m. London time.

Markit’s report reinforces the view that exporters are in what Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent has called a “sweet spot,” since the currency’s decline has increased competitiveness, while the U.K. still enjoys free trade with the EU’s single market. But while the better factory numbers are a good start to the second quarter, sterling is also fueling inflation, and the consumer side of the economy is weakening.

The drop in the pound “helped manufacturers take full advantage of the recent signs of revival in the global economy, and especially the eurozone,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit. “The big question is whether this growth spurt can be maintained.”

Much of the economy’s performance will depend on the services sector. It posted its weakest performance in two years in the first quarter, when the pace of overall economic growth slowed by more than half. A gauge of services from Markit due Thursday is forecast to decline to 54.5 in April from 55 in March.

The factory survey also highlighted the mixed effects of the pound’s decline since the vote to leave the EU. Factory price pressures remained elevated last month, with input costs above their long-run average. As that feeds through to inflation, that means workers are facing a drop in real incomes this year, undermining their spending power.

Consumers are also facing double uncertainty from Brexit negotiations and a general election after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called an early election for June to try to strengthen her hand in the talks with the EU.

George Buckley, an economist at Nomura in London, said the improvement in the latest factory PMI was a “remarkable achievement in the face of Brexit uncertainty,” though he noted that sharp moves in the measure have typically reversed the following month.

“Clearly the U.K. manufacturing sector is deriving some benefit from the export side,” he said. “While we continue to think that weaker consumption and investment spending will take its toll on economic growth as the year develops, this morning’s PMI points to ‘stronger for longer’ than we thought.”

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.

Markets

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

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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

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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

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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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