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Angola Is Said to Plan Currency Sale Tuesday as It Ends Peg

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Angola oil
  • Angola Is Said to Plan Currency Sale Tuesday as It Ends Peg

Angola’s central bank will hold an auction on Tuesday to sell foreign currency to commercial banks, its first since saying it will abandon a dollar peg, according to three people familiar with knowledge of the matter.

The kwanza will probably be allowed to depreciate at the auction as the central bank shifts to a trading band, the people said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. About $100 million of foreign currency will be offered at the auction, one person added.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, will join a long list of commodity exporters — from Russia to Egypt, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Uzbekistan — that have floated or devalued currencies in a bid to end crippling shortages of foreign exchange and revive economic growth. The kwanza has been fixed at 166 against the dollar since April 2016, but trades at 430 per dollar in the black market.

The currency’s exchange rate will be determined at the auctions, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Jan. 4. A spokeswoman for the regulator said she had no information about Tuesday’s sale.

“There will be an exchange-rate adjustment with the kwanza losing about 15 percent of its value against the dollar,” said Tiago Dionisio, a Lisbon-based analyst for Eaglestone Advisory SA. “Once that adjustment happens, I expect the kwanza to trade between 190-210 per dollar in the foreseeable future.”

Dwindling Reserves

Central bank Governor Jose Massano said last week that the country’s dwindling foreign-exchange reserves triggered the end of a peg that “does not reflect the truth.” Reserves dipped to $14.2 billion in November from $15.4 billion in October, and are down from $20 billion at the start of 2017, according to the central bank.

The kwanza will “clearly face” depreciation pressure in the upcoming auctions, Sonja Keller and Yvette Babb, strategists at JP Morgan Chase & Co., said in a research note Friday. “Despite a 65 percent devaluation against the dollar in the year to June 2016, the kwanza has become increasingly overvalued,” Keller and Babb said.

The results of the foreign-currency auction will probably be made public on Wednesday, the people said.

“It’s obvious that there will be a gradual depreciation of the kwanza at these auctions,” said Kaan Nazli, a strategist at Neuberger Berman Europe Ltd. in The Hague, which manages almost $300 billion, including Angolan Eurobonds. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the currency would lose 20 to 30 percent of its value against the dollar over the next year.”

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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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