Oil prices remained mostly flat on Wednesday, balanced between signals of strong consumer demand and tightening U.S. economic policy. Futures were higher in late morning trading, with WTI up 2.1% at $72.39/bbl and Brent up 1.6% at $75.08/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 2.2% higher at $3.89/MMBtu.
U.S. implied oil demand rose sharply last week, with the Energy Information Administration noting a larger-than-expected drop in crude inventories, an uptick in exports and a record 23.2 million bpd of product supplied by refineries.
Global oil and gas supply is expected to surpass demand as soon as the first quarter of next year, according to many forecasts.
Italian utility Edison will spend $3.4 billion to increase its wind and solar capacity to 5 GW by 2030, more than double current capacity.
Production at GM’s Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is shut down this week due to damage from weekend tornados.
Container imports at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fell 10.1% in November despite rising queues, with port officials pointing to a larger-than-normal influx of smaller ships that are less efficient to unload.
Port of Oakland import volumes rose an annual 6.5% in November, the first increase in two months after ships bypassed the port earlier this year due to excessive delays in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The White House is rolling out $15 billion in recently approved infrastructure dollars to replace the nation’s lead water pipes by the end of the decade.
The U.K. reported 78,610 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, a record fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which now tallies more than 10,000 current infections and 60% of cases in London. Brits will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter most large indoor venues.
The U.K.’s inflation rate surged to 5.1% in November, the fastest in a decade, prompting the nation’s central bank to make a surprise interest rate hike this morning for the first time in the pandemic.
Activity in most parts of the eurozone’s services sector slowed in early December, while activity in Germany declined for the first time in eight months.
Chinese industrial activity rose 3.8% in November from a year ago, one of the only bright spots in recent economic data signaling slowdowns in the national economy’s expansion.
Investment spending in a collection of the world’s richest countries, including the U.S., fell a combined 0.8% from the second to the third quarter, new data suggests.
Fitch Ratings lowered forecasts for global economic growth in 2021 by 0.3 percentage points to 5.7%, citing the impacts of rising inflation.
Australia’s Qantas Airways chose Airbus over Boeing as the preferred supplier to replace its domestic fleet starting in 2023.
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