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Dollar Stable Following Weak U.S. Job Numbers

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U.S Dollar - Investors King
  • Dollar Stable Following Weak U.S. Job Numbers

The U.S. dollar remained fairly steady against counterparts during Asian trading session on Monday despite the weak non-farm payrolls report released on Friday.

The dollar .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was about 0.1 percent higher at 95.261, well off a four-week low of 94.084 hit on July 26.

Investor focus has shifted to the yuan after the People’s Bank of China on Friday made it more expensive to bet against the currency, which helped it rebound from a 15-month low against the greenback.

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July, but a drop in the unemployment rate suggested that the labor market conditions were tightening.

“We’re seeing pretty consistent dollar strength across the board. The theme is there,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.

“Although Friday maybe didn’t hit the target when it comes to the non-farm payrolls, it was still a positive number. It’s a good and strong number. If you line that up with previous releases, you see a trend,” he said.

The Fed kept rates unchanged as widely expected last Wednesday, and gave an upbeat assessment of the world’s biggest economy.

The euro hit a 4-1/2-week low against the dollar on Monday.

The single currency traded at $1.15625 after touching as low as $1.1557, its lowest level since changing hands at $1.15275 on June 28.

The offshore yuan was nearly flat, trading at 6.846 yuan per dollar CNH=D3.

The yuan pulled from a 15-month low against the greenback on Friday after China’s central bank said it would require banks to keep reserves equivalent to 20 percent of their clients’ foreign exchange forwards positions from Monday.

The yen was barely changed against the dollar at 111.25 yen JPY= on Monday.

The yen had moved about 0.4 percent higher on Friday on worries about Sino-U.S. trade tensions after China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods such as liquefied natural gas and aircraft.

But State Street Bank’s Wakabayashi said the negative impact on markets from the trade tariff exchanges between the Washington and Beijing is not as acute it had been previously.

“Whenever there is an imbalance in the market in terms of uncertainty, the initial flight to safety is probably to the dollar, which is the preferred currency right now,” said Wakabayashi.

“We could extend that a bit to the yen, but definitely the dollar is receiving a lot of support,” he said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Dangote Mega Refinery in Nigeria Seeks Millions of Barrels of US Crude Amid Output Challenges

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Dangote Refinery

The Dangote Mega Refinery, situated near Lagos, Nigeria, is embarking on an ambitious plan to procure millions of barrels of US crude over the next year.

The refinery, established by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest individual, has issued a term tender for the purchase of 2 million barrels a month of West Texas Intermediate Midland crude for a duration of 12 months, commencing in July.

This development revealed through a document obtained by Bloomberg, represents a shift in strategy for the refinery, which has opted for US oil imports due to constraints in the availability and reliability of Nigerian crude.

Elitsa Georgieva, Executive Director at Citac, an energy consultancy specializing in the African downstream sector, emphasized the allure of US crude for Dangote’s refinery.

Georgieva highlighted the challenges associated with sourcing Nigerian crude, including insufficient supply, unreliability, and sometimes unavailability.

In contrast, US WTI offers reliability, availability, and competitive pricing, making it an attractive option for Dangote.

Nigeria’s struggles to meet its OPEC+ quota and sustain its crude production capacity have been ongoing for at least a year.

Despite an estimated production capacity of 2.6 million barrels a day, the country only managed to pump about 1.45 million barrels a day of crude and liquids in April.

Factors contributing to this decline include crude theft, aging oil pipelines, low investment, and divestments by oil majors operating in Nigeria.

To address the challenge of local supply for the Dangote refinery, Nigeria’s upstream regulators have proposed new draft rules compelling oil producers to prioritize selling crude to domestic refineries.

This regulatory move aims to ensure sufficient local supply to support the operations of the 650,000 barrel-a-day Dangote refinery.

Operating at about half capacity presently, the Dangote refinery has capitalized on the opportunity to secure cheaper US oil imports to fulfill up to a third of its feedstock requirements.

Since the beginning of the year, the refinery has been receiving monthly shipments of about 2 million barrels of WTI Midland from the United States.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Hold Steady as U.S. Demand Signals Strengthening

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Oil prices maintained a steady stance in the global market as signals of strengthening demand in the United States provided support amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, holds at $82.79 per barrel, a marginal increase of 4 cents or 0.05%.

Similarly, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude saw a slight uptick of 4 cents to $78.67 per barrel.

The stability in oil prices came in the wake of favorable data indicating a potential surge in demand from the U.S. market.

An analysis by MUFG analysts Ehsan Khoman and Soojin Kim pointed to a broader risk-on sentiment spurred by signs of receding inflationary pressures in the U.S., suggesting the possibility of a more accommodative monetary policy by the Federal Reserve.

This prospect could alleviate the strength of the dollar and render oil more affordable for holders of other currencies, consequently bolstering demand.

Despite a brief dip on Wednesday, when Brent crude touched an intra-day low of $81.05 per barrel, the commodity rebounded, indicating underlying market resilience.

This bounce-back was attributed to a notable decline in U.S. crude oil inventories, gasoline, and distillates.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a reduction of 2.5 million barrels in crude inventories to 457 million barrels for the week ending May 10, surpassing analysts’ consensus forecast of 543,000 barrels.

John Evans, an analyst at PVM, underscored the significance of increased refinery activity, which contributed to the decline in inventories and hinted at heightened demand.

This development sparked a turnaround in price dynamics, with earlier losses being nullified by a surge in buying activity that wiped out all declines.

Moreover, U.S. consumer price data for April revealed a less-than-expected increase, aligning with market expectations of a potential interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September.

The prospect of monetary easing further buoyed market sentiment, contributing to the stability of oil prices.

However, amidst these market dynamics, geopolitical tensions persisted in the Middle East, particularly between Israel and Palestinian factions. Israeli military operations in Gaza remained ongoing, with ceasefire negotiations reaching a stalemate mediated by Qatar and Egypt.

The situation underscored the potential for geopolitical flare-ups to impact oil market sentiment.

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Shell’s Bonga Field Hits Record High Production of 138,000 Barrels per Day in 2023

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oil field

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) has achieved a significant milestone as its Bonga field, Nigeria’s first deep-water development, hit a record high production of 138,000 barrels per day in 2023.

This represents a substantial increase when compared to 101,000 barrels per day produced in the previous year.

The improvement in production is attributed to various factors, including the drilling of new wells, reservoir optimization, enhanced facility management, and overall asset management strategies.

Elohor Aiboni, Managing Director of SNEPCo, expressed pride in Bonga’s performance, stating that the increased production underscores the commitment of the company’s staff and its continuous efforts to enhance production processes and maintenance.

Aiboni also acknowledged the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and SNEPCo’s co-venture partners, including TotalEnergies Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Agip Exploration, and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited.

The Bonga field, which commenced production in November 2005, operates through the Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, with a capacity of 225,000 barrels per day.

Located 120 kilometers offshore, the FPSO has been a key contributor to Nigeria’s oil production since its inception.

Last year, the Bonga FPSO reached a significant milestone by exporting its 1-billionth barrel of oil, further cementing its position as a vital asset in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

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