Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped more than forecast last week, consistent with a robust labor market, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.
• Jobless claims decreased by 19,000 to a three-week low of 238,000 (forecast was 248,000) in the week ended April 29
• Decline included a 13,890 unadjusted drop in New York’s claims, partly reversing the 16,315 jump in the previous week
• The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 23,000 to 1.96 million in the week ended April 22 (data reported with one-week lag), lowest since April 2000
The trend of subdued jobless claims indicates employers are placing a premium on workers with experience and skills. Together with steady hiring, that underscores a tighter job market. The monthly payrolls report, due from the Labor Department on Friday, is projected to show the economy added 190,000 workers in April after a 98,000 advance in March, and the unemployment rate hovered near the lowest in almost a decade.
• Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, edged up to 243,000 from 242,250 in the prior week
• The four-week average of continuing claims declined to 1.99 million, the lowest since November 1988
• The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.4 percent
• Louisiana was the only state to estimate initial claims last week
• There was nothing unusual in the broader data, according to the Labor Department
Oil Price Gains on Lower US Oil Inventories
Oil Price Rise to $45 Per Barrel on Lower US Oil Inventories
Oil price expanded on Wednesday following a better than expected lower crude oil output from producers in the United States.
The data released by the Energy Information Administration showed that crude oil output from the world’s largest economy declined from 11 million barrels per day to 10.7 million barrels per day last week.
While U.S. fuel demand rose to the highest since March. The demand hits 19.37 million barrels per day in the week, highlighting a gradual increase in demand with the opening of the economy.
Also, crude oil inventories declined by 4.5 million barrels, better than the 2.9 million decline predicted by Reuters’ expertise.
The low oil inventories bolstered the price of Brent crude oil, Nigerian type of oil, by 2 percent to $45.35 per barrel as at 11:30 am Nigerian time.
However, OPEC newly released projection revealed that crude oil demand will drop than initially projected in 2020. This, coupled with the International Energy Agency revised projection that oil demand will now be 91.1 million barrels per day in 2020, around 8.1 million bpd year-on-year decline, stalled crude oil price movement on Thursday as investors and traders now doubt sustainability given the new predictions.
“OPEC released a bearish monthly forecast which indicated that world oil demand will fall more steeply in 2020 than previously forecasted due to the coronavirus and there are doubts about next year’s recovery,” said Avtar Sandu, senior manager commodities at Phillip Futures.
Nigeria to Become Leading Gold Producer in West Africa – Adegbite
Adegbite Says Nigeria to Become Gold Hub in West Africa
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said Nigeria is on its way to becoming a leading gold producer in West Africa.
Adegbite made the statement in Abuja while taking stock of his first year in office as minister.
He said, “Indeed, the international roadshows we have had in the past have produced fruits. Today, we have Thor exploration in Osun State through the Segilola Gold project.
“The exploration firm is projected to start producing (gold) in the first half of next year. The project is expected to create about 400 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs.”
According to Adegbite, the Federal Government has licensed two gold refineries that would refine in line with the London Bullion Market Association standard.
He added, “Numerous industries will spring up when our gold economy becomes full-fledged. Some of them will include equipment leasing and repairs, logistics and transport, as gold requires a specialised means of transport, security, insurance, aggregators, and so on.”
The minister noted that for the first time, the country had mined, processed and refined gold under the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative for use as part of Nigeria’s external reserves.
Adegbite also stated that the mines ministry had initiated a process that would lead to local capacity development in the production of barite.
“Presently, the barite that is used in the oil and gas industry is imported. But we are resolved to reverse this trend. As you may know, barite is a critical weighting material in drilling fluids due to its high specific gravity,” he said.
NUPENG, Lagos State Agree to Call Off Strike
NUPENG Agrees With Lagos State, Call Off Strike
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Gas (NUPENG) has ordered Lagos State Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTDs) to call off its ongoing strike.
This was disclosed in a joint communique signed by the Lagos Commissioner of Energy and Mineral Resources, Olalere Odusote, and the NUPENG Deputy National President, Solomon Kilanko.
It would be recalled that Investors King had reported that NUPENG directed all PTDs to withdraw their services from Lagos State effective from Monday 10 August 2020 because of the persistent extortions and harassments of PTDs by both uniform security agencies and touts.
However, on the 10th of August, the commencement day of the strike, Lagos State government met with the leadership of NUPENG to address the union concerns and eventually agreed on a way forward.
Part of the communique reads “The Lagos State Government met today with the representatives of NUPENG, which agreed to call off its strike immediately.
“Other decisions taken at the meeting are security – the state government will meet the heads of all security agencies and secure their commitment to ensure the free passage of petroleum products vehicles given their importance to the economy.”
“Area boys’ – the menace of ‘area boys’ will be handled by relevant government agencies and a dedicated phone number will be established, within the next week to ensure the petroleum products transporters have prompt access to security agencies.”
The communique also stated that the Lagos State government will set up a standing committee to communicate with the union on an ongoing basis, saying it will help address a similar issue going forward. See the complete communique below.
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