- EU Agrees to Theresa May’s Draft Brexit Deal
The European Union on Sunday agreed to the UK’s draft Brexit agreement, saying it is the best and only deal possible.
Prime Minister Theresa May and her team have pushed for a workable deal between the European Union and her country the United Kingdom in the last 20 months.
Despite rising oppositions, even from her own conservative party, the prime minister believes the agreed draft deal will deliver for the British people and set the nation on course for a prosperous future.
Speaking in Brussels on Sunday, the Prime Minister urged the nation to unite and support the agreement, explaining that the nation “do not want to spend any more time arguing about Brexit.”
European Council President, Donald Tusk, who broke the news on Twitter, said the 27-member union has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement.
“EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations,” said Tusk.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, however, warned that anyone in the United Kingdom that thinks the European Union will offer a better deal than the agreed withdrawal if MPs rejected the agreement would be disappointed.
While UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal on December 12, its approval is far from guaranteed.
Presently, Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Conservatives MPs are not hiding their disagreement and likely to vote against the deal.
The Minister appealed to the British public to get behind the agreement after it was approved by the EU leaders in Brussel.
Theresa May will now need to convince the MPs in the UK parliament to support the agreement.
A rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement could lead to a number of things, including the UK leaving the European Union without a deal or an attempt to renegotiate the agreement which the European Union may turn down and force the UK to conduct another general election on Brexit.
Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary, warned nothing could be ruled out if the Prime Minister lost the parliamentary vote, according to him this may even collapse the government.
Jeremy Corbyn, labour leader, called the Withdrawal Agreement “the worst of all worlds” and said his party would oppose it but work with others to block a no deal outcome while fighting for a reasonable deal.
Iain Duncan Smith said he would find it “very, very difficult” to support the agreement as it stood.
“I don’t believe that, so far, this deal delivers on what the British people really voted for,” he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge show. “I think it has ceded too much control.”
A rejection would plunge the British pound across the board and weighed on the Euro common currency as investors are expected to jump on haven assets to curb risk exposure.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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