Crude benchmarks reached seven-year highs Tuesday, with Brent nearing $100/bbl before easing to end the day about 1.5% higher, while WTI touched $96/bbl before settling at $92.35/bbl. In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 0.8% at $92.67/bbl, Brent was up 0.8% at $97.63/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was 2.8% lower at $4.62/MMBtu.
The Yamal-Europe pipeline supplying 15% of Russian gas shipments to Europe has been flowing eastward back to Russia since December, driving up European gas prices. Combined with escalating tensions in Ukraine, European gas futures briefly jumped more than 13% Tuesday, as traders expect the continent will begin relying more on U.S. LNG shipments.
The American Chemistry Council increased its lobbying spending 19% last year as federal lawmakers considered the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which raised taxes on 42 chemicals to help fund cleanups of Superfund sites. Not included in the legislation were proposals to add a tax of $0.20/lb. on virgin plastic.
Westlake Chemical changed its name to Westlake Corp. to better project a unified brand for its diverse businesses.
Severe winter conditions stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and as far east as Maine began yesterday and will continue throughout the week, disrupting travel and causing school closures in many states.
A Sunday ransomware attack forced Seattle-based freight forwarder Expeditors International to shut down most of its global operations — spanning some 18,000 workers and 300 sites — with services still disrupted as of Tuesday.
A terminal at India’s largest container port was forced to reroute at least one vessel following a cyberattack Tuesday.
Colonial Pipeline Co., manager of the largest fuel conduit in the U.S., hired a Chief Information Security Officer after a cyberattack nine months ago overtook the firm’s private network and halted gas flows to the East Coast.
Airbus secured orders for seven A350 freighters from both Singapore Airlines and the UAE’s Etihad Airways.
The U.S. Postal Service launched a new next-day delivery service geared toward local businesses shipping within their community, with plans for the service to be live in all 50 states by the end of September.
Service providers led a pickup in U.S. economic activity early this month as manufacturers also reported stronger output growth, according to IHS Markit’s composite Purchasing Manager’s Index. The composite index rose to 56.0, up from 51.1 in January, when it fell to an 18-month low.
U.S. home-price growth surged 18.8% last year to a record in data reaching back to 1987. Phoenix homes saw the largest year over year price gain at around 32.5%.
With borrowing more expensive, applications to refinance mortgages have fallen about 45% over the past six months as mortgage lenders simultaneously plan thousands of layoffs. Original mortgage applications declined 13.1% for the week ended Feb. 18 to the lowest level since December 2019:
Home Depot sees slowing growth ahead after surpassing $150 billion in annual sales for the first time in its most recent fiscal year, as strong demand for home-improvement goods at the beginning of the year gradually morphed into surging sales to contractors.
A recent survey of more than 1,000 supply chain leaders revealed that over 20% of respondents employ 3D printing in their operations, with nearly a third more expecting to adopt 3D printing in the next five years.
New COVID-19 cases across the globe fell 21% last week, the third consecutive weekly decline, according to the World Health Organization. The BA.2 “stealth” subvariant of Omicron now comprises one-third of global infections, creating concerns among health officials about dropping pandemic restrictions.
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