Monday, September 16th, 2019


Airbus, French exporters reel as US tariffs loom in subsidy row

PARIS, Sept 16 — Shares in Airbus and French luxury goods exporters fell today as the European Union acknowledged it may face US tariffs in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies, part of an escalating tit-for-tat trade row. The World…

Sources: Saudi oil firm Aramco could delay IPO after attacks

NEW YORK, Sept 16 — Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco after this weekend’s attack on its oil facilities shut down much of its production, people with knowledge of the matter said. “They’re in the…

Too soon to say if US emergency oil release needed, Perry tells CNBC

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 — US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said today it was too soon say whether the United States would have to tap its emergency petroleum reserves following weekend attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that shook global oil…

US, Chinese trade deputies seen meeting Friday, says US Chamber CEO

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 — US and Chinese deputy trade negotiators are expected to meet on Friday, with senior negotiators likely to meet about a week and a half later, US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said today, citing a conversation with US…

Wall Street slides after Saudi attacks; energy stocks surge

NEW YORK, Sept 16 — Wall Street slipped today on global growth worries after the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian crude facilities knocked out 5 per cent of the world’s supply, while a more than 10 per cent jump in oil prices lifted beaten-down…

GM, UAW restart talks as workers take to picket lines

DETROIT, Sept 16 — Negotiators for General Motors Co and the United Auto Workers resumed talks today at 10am EDT to resolve a strike that shut down the automaker’s highly profitable US operations. The UAW yesterday launched the first…

Opec assessing impact of attacks on Saudi plants, says too early to take action

DUBAI/LONDON: The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) is assessing the impact on the oil market from attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities and says it is too early for members to take any action on raising output or holding a meeting, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) energy minister and other sources said.

The UAE’s energy minister said his country was able to boost output to deal with any supply disruptions, but it was too early to call for an emergency meeting of Opec.

“We have spare capacity. There are volumes we can deal with as an instant reaction,” Suhail al-Mazrouei told reporters in Abu Dhabi yoday.

Before the attack, Opec had been focusing on boosting adherence to a supply-reduction pact with Russia and other non-members, known as Opec+. Opec has been over-delivering on the pledge and Mazrouei said that, while spare capacity is there, the UAE would stick to its quota.

“The UAE remains com-mitted to its production target under the Opec+ agreement,” he said. If Saudi Arabia called for an Opec emergency meeting, “we will deal with it”.

Opec secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo discussed the oil market with the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, today after the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, an Opec source told Reuters.

The two men expressed their satisfaction that “the situation has been brought under control by the Saudi authorities”, and agreed to continue to monitor the market and keep in regular contact over the next couple of days, the Opec source said.

With global oil inventories plentiful and no signs of a shortage yet, Opec does not need to formally discuss taking any action for now, two other Opec sources said.

“It’s still early to talk about it,” one of them said.

Opec members and non-members including Russia agreed in December to reduce supply by 1.2 million bpd from Jan. 1 this year. Opec’s share of the cut is 800,000 bpd, to be delivered by 11 members and exempting Iran, Libya and Venezuela.

The extent of any action Opec excluding Saudi Arabia could take to boost supplies is limited, said a third Opec source. Saudi Arabia as the top Opec producer holds the bulk of its unused production capacity.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters there is enough oil in global stockpiles to replace barrels Saudi Arabia has temporary lost due to the attacks on its oil facilities.

Asked whether Russia was ready to increase production, Novak said that Saudi Arabia would first give its estimate of the attacks consequences.

“But currently, we understand that the world has enough commercial stockpiles to cover the shortage… in the mid-term,” Novak said, adding he planned to have a call with newly appointed Saudi counterpart, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

Novak said Russia was sticking to its commitments under the global oil production deal and it was premature to talk about any possibly changes to production levels.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters separately today that Russia should wait to see how the situation develops before taking any action on production.– Reuters

Novak says it is premature to talk about any possibly changes to production levels. – REUTERSPIX

US group Advent wins US$5b battle for Britain’s Cobham

LONDON, Sept 16 — US private equity firm Advent International won its battle to buy Britain’s Cobham for US$5 billion (RM20.8 billion) today, taking advantage of the weak pound to pounce on the defence and aerospace group that pioneered…

Oil prices trading 10% higher after soaring 20% in biggest surge since 1991

SINGAPORE/LONDON: Oil prices surged nearly 20% at one point today, with Brent crude posting its biggest intraday gain since the Gulf War in 1991, after an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities at the weekend halved the kingdom’s production.

Prices came off their peaks after US President Donald Trump authorised the use of his country’s emergency stockpile to ensure stable supply.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, rose as much as 19.5% to US$71.95 (RM299) per barrel, the biggest intraday jump since Jan 14, 1991. By 1236 GMT, the contract was at US$66.67, up US$6.45, or 10.7%.

US West Texas Intermediate futures climbed as much as 15.5% to US$63.34, the biggest intraday percentage gain since June 22, 1998. The contract was later at US$60.29, up US$5.44 or 9.9%.

The attack on state-owned producer Saudi Aramco’s crude-processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day. The company has not given a timeline for the resumption of full output.

Two sources briefed on Aramco’s operations said a full return to normal production volumes “may take months”.

“If these outages are lengthy, Saudi Aramco will struggle to hit export specification for its Arab Light and Arab Extra Light streams, and may even be forced to declare force majeure on some of these exports,” consultancy Energy Aspects said in a note.

“We expect the IEA and US DoE to also release strategic stocks to fill the gap if the Saudi outage is prolonged,” it said, referring to the International Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy.

Trump said he had approved the release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve if needed. He also said the United States was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack.

It was the threat of retaliation and escalation of the tension and conflict in the Middle East, however, that has kept prices high, irrespective of the relief from global stockpiles.

“This justifies a risk premium on the oil price, so prices are initially unlikely to return to the levels at which they were trading before the attacks,” said Carsten Fritsch, oil analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, Germany.

Saudi oil exports will continue as normal this week as the kingdom taps into stocks from its large storage facilities, an industry source briefed on the developments told Reuters.

Major importers of Saudi crude, such as India, China, Japan and South Korea, will be the most vulnerable to the supply disruption. – Reuters

KLM ground staff plans new strike on Wednesday, says trade union

AMSTERDAM, Sept 16 — Ground staff at Dutch airline KLM will strike again on Wednesday, to push for higher pay and better working conditions, trade union FNV said today. Baggage handlers and other ground personnel of Air France-KLM’s Dutch arm…