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Oil Dips as China-U.S Trade Tensions Deepen

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  • Oil Dips as China-U.S Trade Tensions Deepen

Oil prices edged lower yesterday as investors focused on deepening trade tension between the United States (U.S.) and China that is expected to dent global crude demand, but losses were limited as the market weighed potential supply tightening due to Iran sanctions.

Brent crude futures fell 11 cents to $77.99 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 8 cents to settle at $68.91 a barrel.

U.S. President Donald Trump is likely to announce new tariffs on about $200 billion on Chinese imports as early yesterday, a senior administration official told Reuters on Saturday.

U.S. stock indexes broadly fell yesterday, weighing on oil futures, on expectations that Trump would go ahead with the new tariffs and that Beijing would retaliate.

The trade dispute is raising concerns about the potential for slower growth in oil consumption, offsetting supply concerns stemming from the upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Speaking on the development, an analyst at Price Futures Group, Phil Flynn said:”The uncertainty surrounding the trade war is definitely something the market is concerned about in the short-term.”

Sanctions affecting Iran’s petroleum sector will come into force from Nov. 4. Iranian crude oil export loadings have declined by 580,000 barrels per day in the past three months, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a note to clients.

“We believe that the full effect of the Iranian oil sanctions has yet to be seen and we feel that the next 5-6 week anticipatory phase of the official sanctions will associate with steady speculative buying interest,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

Iran’s oil exports have been falling in recent months as more buyers, including its second-largest buyer India, cut imports ahead of U.S. sanctions that take effect in November. Washington aims to cut Iran’s oil exports down to zero to force Tehran to re-negotiate a nuclear deal.

Since spring when the Trump Administration said it would impose the sanctions, crude traders have priced in a risk premium reflecting the supply shortages that may occur when exports from Iran, the third-largest Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producer, are cut.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told Reuters at the weekend that he did not expect any price spikes and that Saudi Arabia, the U.S and Russia could between them raise global output in the next 18 months.

Yesterday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said all possible scenarios for oil output could be discussed at a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC states in Algeria this month.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco will spend more than 500 billion riyals ($133 billion) on oil and gas drilling over the next decade, a senior company executive said.

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Economy

Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases

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Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally

Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.

global Oil prices While the price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil dipped from $40.97 per barrel it traded on Thursday to $38.78 on Friday.

Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.

“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.

As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.

This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.

In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.

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Economy

We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos

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Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff

The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.

Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.

The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.

Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.

“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.

The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.

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Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries

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Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.

Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.

The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”

Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.

“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.

“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”

He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.

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