Oil prices rose slightly Wednesday, a muted reaction to new data showing a drop in crude inventories last week. Crude futures retreated in late morning trading, with WTI down 0.8% at $71.81/bbl and Brent down 0.8% at $75.25/bbl. U.S. natural gas futures were 0.9% higher at $3.85/MMBtu.
Global benchmark Brent has regained two-thirds of value lost following news of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, rising 10% since Dec. 1.
U.S. product supplied by refineries, a proxy for oil demand, hit 20.9 million bpd over the past month, exceeding pre-pandemic volumes.
U.S. coal stockpiles fell in September to their lowest level since at least 2001, a result of high natural gas prices driving increased use of coal for power generation.
ConocoPhillips is doubling down on expanding production onshore in the U.S. and in Australia, with the firm recently selling some or all assets in Indonesia, Canada, Britain’s North Sea and offshore U.S.
Germany’s natural gas industry is seeking $900 million in funding for “turquoise” hydrogen development, an emerging technology that separates natural gas into hydrogen and solid carbon, which has several industrial uses.
Smaller container ships could face wait times weeks longer than larger vessels in some cases at Southern California ports.
Even if container rates dropped 40% next year, as some traders predict, prices would still far exceed pre-pandemic levels. Spot rates for 40-foot containers on China-to-U.S. routes hit $14,294 Wednesday, three times higher than at the start of the year.
South Carolina ports handled a record 250,711 TEUs in November, 21% more than last year.
Cargo theft is up 42% year over year, spurred by record numbers of idle containers across logistics networks.
Australian officials are starting an inquiry into the nation’s overstretched supply chains.
Top executives in tech, retail and professional services markets predict global supply disruptions to persist through 2023.
Spot prices for emissions-lowering diesel exhaust fluid have surged 162% year to date.
The FDA granted emergency use authorization to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail after trials showed the treatment halved the risk of developing severe illness or death from mild or moderate infection.
First-time jobless claims fell to 184,000 last week, the lowest since 1969.
More than 11 million U.S. jobs were unfilled in November, the most since July’s record of 11.1 million, as employers sought to beef up hiring for seasonal work.
New U.S. vehicle sales are estimated to have dropped 12.6% in November from a year ago, largely a result of constrained inventories.
Roughly a quarter of young adults want to retire before age 55, new survey results show, as daily stress among workers reached a record high during the pandemic:
McDonald’s will offer $250 million in low-interest loans to new franchisees over the next five years in a bid to increase diversity of restaurant ownership.
One in six Americans earn money doing household chores and running errands through online apps and websites, new survey results show, with 60% of them saying the money has been essential for meeting basic needs.
South Africa reported 19,842 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, the most since the Omicron variant was first discovered last month, with the nation’s test positivity rate surging to 26.8%. Authorities granted approval for Pfizer booster doses yesterday.
Canada’s central bank warned that high inflation will persist in 2023 but chose to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 0.25%, with economists pointing to next April for a possible first rate hike of the pandemic.
China’s Evergrande property group has officially been labeled a defaulter for the first time, the latest milestone in a months-long financial crisis that could end in the restructuring of one of the world’s most indebted developers. A smaller Chinese property developer also defaulted after failing to repay a $400 million bond this week.
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