Trump adviser Kudlow By Reuters


© Reuters. Larry Kudlow participates in coronavirus economic “relief update” virtual event at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday said one policy that could lure U.S. companies to move back to the United States from China would be 100 percent immediate expensing across the board.

“As far as policies to get the companies home, a lot of things we can do,” Kudlow told Fox Business News. “I would say 100 percent immediate expensing across the board. Plant, equipment, intellectual property structures, renovations. In other words, if we had 100 percent immediate expensing we would literary pay the moving costs of American companies from China back to the U.S.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Trump says $70 billion in coronavirus rescue loans authorized. But where’s the cash?


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Roughly $70 billion of a $350 billion pot of loans to cover the payrolls of ailing small businesses have been originated by U.S. lenders in recent days, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, adding that that money was “essentially loaned.”

The downtown district of Washington, looking east to the U.S. Capitol, remains largely empty to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the coronavirus disease pandemic in Washington, U.S. April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In fact, no one, including the administration, seems to know how much of that money has made it into the hands of small businesses, many of which say they have yet to see a penny.

“They’re saying it’s going great but on the street no one’s received any funds yet,” said Sachin Mahajan, who shut down his restaurant, Karma Modern Indian, in the heart of Washington, D.C., on March 16 after business nosedived.

“All the business owners I have spoken with, none of them have seen anything come through yet,” said Mahajan, who submitted his payroll application on Monday, after his bank asked him to resubmit online his Friday paper application.

Neither the U.S. Treasury Department nor the Small Business Administration, which are jointly administering the program, have formal data on disbursements, which are issued by participating banks, a senior administration official told Reuters.

Reuters contacted five major Washington-based bank trade groups, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, all of which said they did not have that data as of Tuesday.

Only one of the groups, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), said it was trying to gather information on loan disbursements from its members.

“As a one-off anecdotal example, one of our largest SBA-lenders is trying to get out disbursements today,” said Paul Merski, an executive director at the ICBA.

“That’s the first one I heard of that would actually be putting cash out the door.”

Wells Fargo & Co, a major small business lender, on Sunday hit a $10 billion cap on loan applications it plans to accept under the program, but on Tuesday said it had yet to disburse any funds to clients. JPMorgan and Bank of America, which have been processing applications since the scheme began on Friday, declined to comment on disbursements.

Launched on Friday as part of a $2.3 trillion congressional economic relief package, the $350 billion program allows small businesses hurt by the coronavirus to apply for government-guaranteed loans with participating banks. Those loans will be forgiven if they are used to cover payroll costs, subject to some conditions.

Speaking on Tuesday, Trump said $70 billion had “been loaned,” but that figure is likely to refer to loans that have been processed by the SBA, as opposed to cash that has been released to businesses, three banking sources said.

They said the amount of money dished out to small businesses is likely to be much smaller because many lenders are still waiting for the SBA and Treasury to issue a loan authorization form – the last piece of the paperwork puzzle required for money to be handed to the customer.

The form lenders had initially been using turned out to be incorrect, according to an SBA email seen by Reuters on Monday and the sources, and a compliant form has yet to be issued.

The cause of the hold-up was not clear, the sources said. SBA and Treasury did not respond to a request for comment on regarding loan authorizations.

Without that paperwork, banks worry loans may not qualify down the line for the government guarantee, or for forgiveness, the sources said. Lenders are also getting mixed signals on how to proceed: Treasury officials have told banks verbally to go ahead and issue loans, on the basis they will be grandfathered into the compliant regime once the correct paperwork is issued.

But some regional SBA offices emailed banks on Monday telling them to hold off, according to two of the sources, and another email seen by Reuters. That has left many banks in limbo, said a spokesman for the Consumer Bankers Association.

“Some banks are disbursing funds but many are concerned without final language from SBA, there could be forgiveness issues down the road,” he said.

Reporting by Michelle Price, Pete Schroeder and Lindsay Dunsmuir in Washington; Additional reporting by Imani Moise and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis



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Trump says OPEC has not asked him for a U.S. oil production cut By Reuters


© Reuters. U.S. President Trump leads daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House in Washington

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday that OPEC had not pressed him to ask U.S. oil producers to reduce their output to support global prices, which have been hard-hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump said U.S. oil production had already fallen, anyway.

“I think it’s happening automatically but nobody’s asked me that question yet so we’ll see what happens,” the president told a press briefing Monday afternoon.

Major oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia are likely to agree to cut production at a Thursday meeting but only if the United States joins the effort, three sources involved told Reuters on Monday.

“Without the U.S., no deal,” one of the sources said.

Worldwide oil demand has dropped by roughly 30%, or about 30 million barrels a day as the coronavirus pandemic brings the world economy to a standstill, at the same time that Saudi Arabia and Russia have been flooding markets with extra supply.

That has been a major problem for the economy of the United States, which has grown into the world’s largest oil and gas producer, because it has threatened the once-bustling drilling industry with layoffs and bankruptcies.

Several U.S. drilling companies have already scaled back production because of the drop in oil prices, which have lost around two-thirds of their value so far this year.

Last week, in response to the weeks-long market rout, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, started talking about cutting production, but they want other non-OPEC nations to participate, particularly the United States.

The renewed discussions among members of OPEC+ began after Trump pressured Riyadh and Moscow to make a deal in a series of phone calls. Trump said last week he had made no concessions and did not agree to a U.S. production cut.

Normally any coordinated decision by U.S. oil producers to reduce output to boost prices would violate antitrust laws.

But if the federal government leads the charge such an effort would arguably be legal, according to Barbara Sicalides, an antitrust expert at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

(Aditional reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Valdmanis, Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Commodities Week Ahead: Trump & The Oil Market


© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – Should Donald Trump tax the import of Saudi and selective foreign crude as a last resort to save U.S. oil producers?

The president threatened on Saturday to “do whatever I have to do” in order “to protect … tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies”. Just a day ago, he denied any plans to impose tariffs on any imported oil although he acknowledged it “is certainly a tool in the toolbox”.

Trump’s shifting stance is understandable. Within the same 24 hours, both Saudi Arabia and Russia have turned into a joke his tweets from earlier in the week that they were ready for a truce in their oil production-and-price warfare and go back to output cuts with other producers under the OPEC+ alliance that could even include U.S. companies. 

The only saving grace for Trump is that the OPEC video conference that Saudi King Salman agreed to host at the president’s request is still on. But instead of Monday, it might now be held on Friday, an OPEC source told CNN, although there was no certainty that wouldn’t be scrapped too.

It was prospects of that meeting – and Trump’s tweets that the Saudis and Russians were ready to lead the world in cutting 10-15% from global supply — that gave U.S. crude a record 32% gain last week and U.K. an even higher 37%, after 18-years lows for both in the $20s. 

With doom and gloom hanging over the market again, crude prices could see a renewed dive in Asian trading later today. Yet, Trump’s warning that he might use the tax wrench in his toolkit to fix imported barrels could prevent a freefall. The House of Saud will be rather eager to call the president on his bluff — if that’s what it is — though the Kremlin will be keen too. The variance in their interest is based on the fact that the United States imports 95% more Saudi crude than Russian.

The question of whether Trump should go ahead with tariffs leads one into a deeper debate: i.e. Is it right to save U.S. oil producers and hurt the country’s refiners, who depend critically on Saudi and other foreign-sourced crude to make the kind of fuel products that gasoline-friendly American shale oil isn’t capable of?; Will U.S. import taxes be a big enough deal to force the Saudis and Russians to back down from their production-and-price standoff and negotiate a reduced output deal? 

Shale Might Want Trump’s Intervention, Not Broader Industry

From Oklahoma to Texas, the clarion call for federal intervention in the oil market comes from the drillers working the prolific U.S. shale basins that have turned the country into a 13-million barrels-per-day behemoth surpassing even Saudi Arabia and Russia — whose production typically peak at 12 million and 11 million bpd, respectively. 

The U.S. oil industry is now a critical component of the domestic economy, supporting 10.9 million jobs.

The so-called fracking boom has provided gasoline at under $3 per gallon to most Americans for the past six years. It has also given U.S. crude a 3.5-million-barrel export advantage in markets that the Saudis and Russians couldn’t fill because they were too busy cutting output to keep global prices supported — while their American rivals were busy producing and marketing their oil without any care other than profit.

This “drill baby, drill!” phenomenon in U.S. oil can be easily understood once one learns of the industry’s makeup.

Some 91% of the oil wells in the United States  are owned by independent producers who produce 83% of the country’s crude and 90% of its . 

And who are these independents? They can be publicly traded companies or even small family companies. Under U.S. law, an independent energy producer is one who does not have more than $5 million in retail sales of oil and gas in a year or who does not refine more than an average of 75,000 barrels per day of crude oil during a given year. There are about 9,000 independent oil and natural gas producers in the United States. These companies operate in 33 states and the offshore and employ an average of just 12 people.

It explains why it has been virtually impossible all these years to bring such a diverse bunch of wildcatters to a table with a collective-minded group like the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to strike a deal that will benefit oil producers throughout the world. 

It’s not just the diversity and sheer mass of participants that have stood in the way of an U.S.-OPEC deal. It’s also the American antitrust law that prohibits any kind of coordination and control in oil production. It was a law that interestingly became the basis for the NOPEC – or No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act – that the Trump administration was toying with two years ago, then to sue OPEC for cutting production. 

The antitrust law has been there for years. But it has surfaced in the news lately as talk emerged for the first time of coordinated production cuts by U.S. oil companies fearing  they have no chance of surviving the present crisis unless they do what OPEC has been doing all this while. Two of the companies, Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:) Co. and Parsley Energy Inc, have written to regulators in their home state of Texas to ensure that all oil producers contribute to cuts in the state — which produces about 4 million bpd or a third of U.S. output. 

Ryan Sitton, an aggressive and vocal member of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the state’s oil industry, has dived passionately into the shale-saving mission. Sitton has chatted on the phone with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, offering a cut of 500,000 bpd on behalf of the TRC. Sitton says he hopes to have a conversation next with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He even has the backing of the premier of Canada’s Alberta region for cuts (more on Canada’s role in U.S. energy to follow)

Sitton’s enthusiasm for cuts, however, is not shared by everyone at his TRC office or the wider petroleum industry.

“One commissioner does not speak” for the commission, TRC member Christi Craddick tweeted, adding that “Texas operators will be heard” at a hearing scheduled on April 14.

TRC Chairman Wayne Christian tweeted his initial disagreement too: “If a release or tweet comes from an individual commish, it does not signal consensus from the agency.”

There’s more. On Friday, Trump met with the CEOs of Exxonmobil, Chevron (NYSE:), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:), Devon Energy (NYSE:), Phillips 66 (NYSE:), Energy Transfer Partners and Continental Resources — all top names in the U.S. energy business. American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers, who represents the broader industry, was there too. Production cuts were never discussed, say those who attended the meeting. 

The American Petroleum Institute and another trade group, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, have actually counseled the president against intervention.

“We are not seeking any government subsidies or industry-specific intervention to address the recent market downturn at this time,” they argued in a letter to Trump. “Imposing supply constraints, such as quotas, tariffs, or bans on foreign crude oil would exacerbate this already difficult situation, jeopardize the short and long-term competitiveness of our refining sector world-wide, and could jeopardize the benefits Americans experience as a result of our increasing energy dominance.”

Why Taxes Won’t Work for Oil Refiners Or Lead to Output Cuts

And then there’s the refiners. There are 11 main companies behind the 68 refineries in the United States – namely Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:), Valero Energy (NYSE:), Phillips 66, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:), Chevron, PBF Energy, Shell (LON:), BP (LON:), PDV, Koch and Motiva.

None of them ostensibly want taxes on oil imports because such tariffs will hurt a very major component part of their business: refining the heavier, or sour, crude that is typically not produced in the United States and which is critical for making the diesel for trucks and trains, jet kerosene for planes and heavy fuel oil for ships. The decades-old U.S. Gulf Coast refinery system is mainly configured to run on a healthy dose of lower quality heavy crude.

“Any import tax on crude is going to be so harmful to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners,” said John Kilduff, founding partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital.  “You’re not going to be lashing out at Saudi Arabia. You’re going to drive up the cost of diesel. It’s the last thing the U.S. economy needs at this time.”

In 2019, the United States imported about 9.1 million bpd of petroleum from nearly 90 countries.

Aside from the Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, the sour and heavy oils are largely found in Venezuela, Mexico and Canada.

Due to U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, not one barrel of oil from that South American country now lands in the United States.

Mexico’s oil output has been in a steady decline for years. About 650,000 barrels of Mexican oil is imported into the United States each day.  

As for Canada, it is the largest provider of crude to the United States, channeling 4.42 million barrels daily, or 49% of U.S. needs. Canada can and wants to do a lot more for America. But it has run out of pipelines used to transport crude to its southern neighbor, limiting production.  

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a new permission for TransCanada Corp to build the long-delayed Keystone pipeline for imports of Canadian oil, replacing his previous permits in a fresh attempt to get around the blocking of the $8 billion project by a court in Montana. Still, that’s a project literally in the pipeline and won’t immediately solve U.S. needs in the event of a sudden supply crunch.

Which brings us to Saudi imports.  For the week ended Jan 24, U.S. crude oil imports averaged 6.7 million barrels per day and Saudi oil accounted for 407,000 bpd. That’s just about 6% of the total. Yet, it’s a very significant component due to scarcity in the supply of such heavier oils.

As for Russian oil imports, they stood at 18,637 barrels per day in June, just under 5% of the Saudi volumes.

The bottom line is this: The Saudis and Russians can always find markets for their oil. If America wants to tax their oil, they can take their crude elsewhere. Also, if their plan is to destroy U.S. shale and divvy up that 3.5 million barrels held by American exporters  between themselves, there should be no reason for any retreat on their part.

Trump does not have much love for Putin, and he can expect the Russian leader to respond in kind. 

But with Saudi Arabia, the president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have invested time and energy in developing their relationship with Crown Prince MBS. They have defended the kingdom through the controversial Yemen war and the horrible murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Washington also provides military protection for the Saudis in the Gulf and has profited as well from Riyadh by selling the kingdom billions of dollars of U.S. arms. Trump seems ready to forsake those ties now if necessary, though the Saudis also seem prepared to do so, to get the market share they want for their oil.

* This is the first of a two-part series that examines the Trump administration’s attempts to save the U.S. oil industry amid the collapse in demand for crude from the coronavirus crisis and the production-and-price war between market titans Saudi Arabia and Russia. Part two will be published tomorrow.



Trump threatens tariffs on oil imports to ‘protect’ U.S. energy workers By Reuters


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© Reuters. U.S. President Trump leads the daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House in Washington

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By Jeff Mason and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would impose tariffs on crude imports if he has to “protect” U.S. energy workers from the oil price crash that has been exacerbated by a war between Russia and Saudi Arabia over market share.

“If I have to do tariffs on oil coming from outside or if I have to do something to protect our … tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies that produce all these jobs, I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Trump told reporters in a briefing about the coronavirus outbreak.

Oil prices have dropped by about two-thirds this year as the pandemic crushes demand and as major producers Russia and Saudi Arabia boost output in a war over market share.

The United States in recent years has become the world’s biggest oil producer, at times putting its exports in competition with Russia and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

As oil prices drop, many heavily leveraged U.S. energy companies face bankruptcies and workers are at risk of layoffs. After meeting with industry executives on Friday, Trump said he was not considering tariffs at the moment, but it was a tool that could be used “if we’re not treated fairly.”

Two major industry groups, the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, told Trump in a letter on Wednesday that tariffs on oil imports would jeopardize the domestic refining business as some plants depend on crude from abroad.

The United States imported more 1 million barrels per day of oil from Russia and Saudi Arabia combined in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Trump reiterated on Saturday that Saudi Arabia had told him it had agreed with Russia to jointly reduce output by an unprecedented 10 million barrels per day or more. The countries have not confirmed the plan, other than saying they would discuss ways to stabilize global oil markets.

OPEC and Russia have postponed a Monday meeting to discuss oil output cuts until April 9, OPEC sources said, due to a Saudi-Russia dispute over who is to blame for plunging crude prices.

When oil prices started dropping last month, Trump initially emphasized it would be good for motorists. On Saturday he said gasoline prices could fall to 90 cents a gallon and conceded that the oil price crash is “going to hurt a lot of jobs in our country.”

De facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and Russia would be “destroying themselves” if they do not end the price war by reducing output, Trump said, noting that “I couldn’t care less about OPEC.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump says if he has to put tariffs on oil imports to protect energy workers he will


U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would put tariffs on imports of crude oil or take other measures if he has to protect energy workers from the oil price crash.

“If I have to do tariffs on oil coming from outside or if I have to do something to protect our … tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies that produce all these jobs, I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Trump told reporters in a briefing about the coronavirus outbreak.

Oil prices have crashed as the pandemic crushes demand and as Russia and Saudi Arabia boost output in a war over market share. After meeting with executives from big oil companies on Friday, Trump said he was not thinking of imposing tariffs at the moment, but it was a tool that could be used.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Makini Brice; writing by Timothy Gardner



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Trump says will ask Congress for more small business funds if money runs out By Reuters


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© Reuters. U.S. President Trump leads daily coronavirus response briefing at the White House in Washington

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would ask Congress for more money to make loans to small businesses struggling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak if the original $349 billion allocated in a fiscal stimulus bill runs out.

“I will immediately ask Congress for more money to support small businesses under the @ppploan if the allocated money runs out,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

The launch of the small business bailout fund has been rocky since it opened on Friday morning.

Tens of thousands of businesses have swamped lenders, community bankers have complained of an inability to access the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s system and the Treasury Department was still issuing updated guidance and form templates on Friday afternoon.

As of Friday evening, lenders originated more than 17,000 loans valued at about $5.4 billion under the program, Jovita Carranza, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, said in a tweet.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Oil posts biggest one-day gains after Trump touts Saudi-Russia oil deal By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind a crude oil pump jack on a drill pad in the Permian Basin in Loving County

By Scott DiSavino

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Crude prices posted their biggest-one day gains on record on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to announce a major oil production cut, and Saudi state media said the kingdom was calling an emergency meeting of producers to deal with the market turmoil.

Trump said he had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and expects Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut oil output by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels, as the two countries signaled willingness to make a deal.

Trump did not specify barrels per day (bpd), though the market expresses demand and supply in those terms. Such a sizeable deal, however, would likely require participation from other big producers outside of the OPEC cartel.

Saudi Arabia said it would call an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi state media reported. The Wall Street Journal reported that the kingdom would consider dropping output to roughly 9 million bpd, or about 3 million bpd less than what it planned on pumping in April.

Brent futures () rose $5.20, or 21.0%, to settle at $29.94 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude () rose $5.01, or 24.7%, to settle at $25.32.

Despite the huge gains, oil prices have still lost more than half their value this year. The market slumped in early March, when Saudi Arabia and Russia were unable to come to terms on a deal to curb production, and the Saudis boosted output to more than 12 million bpd and shipped discounted cargoes worldwide.

Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has severely cut fuel demand. U.S. crude prices fell under $20 per barrel a few times in recent days.

“The question will come down to, Will they be able to agree to something? It’s taken a couple of weeks of Brent at $25 and WTI at $20 and it seems as if the Russians are more approachable than they were a month ago,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Brent soared as much as 47% during the session, its highest intraday percentage gain ever. WTI jumped as much as 35%, its second highest ever, after an intraday gain of 36% on March 19.

Oil prices pulled back from those highs as traders questioned whether Russia and Saudi Arabia could actually agree on such a big production cut.

A senior administration official told Reuters the United States does not know formal details of Saudi Arabian and Russian plans to reduce oil supply yet and will not ask U.S. domestic oil producers to chip in with their own cuts.

“Despite today’s headlines, we remain skeptical that a deal to cut output will materialize,” analysts at Capital Economics said, noting Saudi Arabia is unlikely to cut output unless Russia and possibly other non-OPEC producers, like the United States and Canada, join in a coordinated reduction.

With fuel demand expected to fall by 20% to 30% in coming months, pressure was building on oil producers to reach a deal, and Trump expressed growing frustration about the crude price and its effect on the energy industry.

Texas regulators are exploring the possibility of cutting production in that state, which produces more than 5 million bpd.



Trump administration awards $25 billion in emergency transit funding By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An MTA transit worker cleans a nearly empty Times Square – 42nd street subway station following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Thursday said it was allocating $25 billion in emergency funding grants to public transportation systems to address a massive falloff in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds, including $5.4 billion for the New York City area, were approved by Congress last week and transit systems should start receiving payments in the coming weeks.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the “historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who depend on them.”

The funds include $1.2 billion for the Los Angeles area, $1.02 billion for the Washington, D.C. area, $883 million for the Boston-area, $879 million for the Philadelphia area, $820 million for the San Francisco area and $520 million for Seattle.

Many of the areas cover systems that are also in nearby states and were awarded under a population-based formula.

Last month, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees two commuter railroads, subways and buses, sought $4 billion as ridership had fallen more than 60% on the subways.

New Jersey Transit this week sought a $1.25 billion bailout after reporting a nearly 90% drop-off in ridership. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District also appealed for emergency funds after ridership declined by 90%.

The FTA said $22.7 billion was allocated to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion to rural areas. The funds will “support capital, operating, and other expenses generally eligible under those programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19,” the agency said in a statement.

The FTA announcement came one day ahead of the required timetable from Congress.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Dollar Edges Lower; Petro Currencies Gain on Trump Comments By Investing.com


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The dollar edged lower in European trading Thursday, with investors seemingly prepared to move out of the safe haven into riskier currencies ahead of key U.S. unemployment data.

At 3 AM ET (0700 GMT), the , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, stood at 99.640, down 0.1%. fell 0.2% to 1.0939, while rose 0.3% to 1.2418. climbed 0.1% to 107.28.

The outbreak of the pandemic has caused developed economies to virtually close down as governments attempt social distancing policies to stem the spreading of the virus.

The starkest evidence of the economic damage caused came last week when weekly U.S. initial jobless claims, one of the earliest gauges of economic trends, jumped to 3.28 million, blowing past the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982.

This week’s are released at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), with another 3.5 million claims expected. 

Obviously these are poor numbers, but if there can be a positive slant, it may be that a large number of claims means that displaced workers are availing themselves of the backstop support provided in the stimulus bill. That would keep much-needed disposable income in the economy.

Additionally, the price of oil climbed sharply Thursday after President Donald Trump stated late Wednesday that Russia and Saudi Arabia would make a deal to end their price war within a “few days”.

Global oil prices have fallen by roughly two-thirds this year, hitting hard the finances of the countries that depend on oil revenue for funding.

At 3:00 AM ET, traded 1.6% lower at 10.23.23, while dropped 1.4% to 77.63. Russia spent 5% of its reserves defending the ruble in the week to March 20. Data for last week are due later Thursday.

Some vulnerable emerging market currencies have come under extreme pressure recently as wide current account deficits, low credit ratings and limited foreign currency reserves heighten capital flight risks.

The South African hit record lows while the Turkish sank to a two-year low. Thursday’s more positive tone has allowed these to post small recoveries.

At 3 AM ET (0710 GMT), traded 0.3% lower at 18.15 and was 0.5% lower at 6.6623.

 

 

 

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