Oil prices jumped to multi-year highs Monday, rising over 1.5% amid a global energy crisis that has spurred power and gas shortages in several nations.
Oil futures were steady in late morning trading, with WTI up slightly at $80.71/bbl and Brent down slightly at $83.50/bbl. U.S. natural gas futures were up 1.6% at $5.43/MMBtu.
Oil prices are on track to outpace copper prices this year by the largest amount since 2002 and are topping an index of raw material prices by the biggest margin in more than a decade.
Citigroup expects oil prices to rise to $90/bbl this winter as inventories drop to their lowest levels on record, a result of increased demand from more industries switching from high-priced natural gas to oil.
Utility companies in New York and New England are warning that surging global natural gas prices will lead to higher heating bills this winter.
Natural gas demand in the EU’s industrial sector in October was 12% below pre-pandemic levels as companies cut usage in response to surging prices.
China’s Cosco Shipping will debut its new Transpacific BCO Express Line later this week, opening two new trade routes to Los Angeles and Prince Rupert, Canada, in a bid to improve schedule reliability.
North American PC shipments dropped by 9% compared to the same time last year, largely a result of supply chain problems dragging down market growth following record demand levels reached in 2020.
Car sales in China dropped 17% in the third quarter from a year ago, the first decline in more than a year due to continued effects of the global chip shortage.
JPMorgan’s chief executive forecasted that supply chain disruptions hampering economic growth will be erased as early as 2022 due to high levels of consumer spending, currently around 20% more than pre-pandemic levels.
For a partial list of automotive disruptions caused by semiconductor and component shortages, clickhere.
The U.S. reported 116,202 new COVID-19 infections and 1,182 virus fatalities Monday.
The U.S. administered more than 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses last week, the most since July.
The surge of COVID-19 infections driven by the Delta variant may be starting to wane, with new infections throughout the U.S. dropping by 22% over the last two weeks, while hospitalizations have dropped 20%. The decline prompted the White House’s top medical adviser to say families can safely trick-or-treat outdoors for Halloween this year.
Michigan is one of a handful of U.S. states seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, with its seven-day average at 3,541 as of last Friday, while hospitalizations from the virus have been steadily rising since August.
U.S. House lawmakers are set to vote on a short-term increase to the government’s borrowing limit today, potentially averting another showdown on debt and spending in less than two months.
Southwest Airlines flight cancellations stretched into their fourth day Monday, with roughly 10% of flights cut due to staffing shortages and bad weather.
Roughly 36% of workers in 10 major U.S. cities were back in the office last week, the highest level since the start of the pandemic.
Amazon updated its return-to-office plans, allowing individual teams to decide how many days corporate employees will be required to be at the office during the week while mandating all employees live within commuting distance.
A growing number of millennial homebuyers are pooling their finances with partners, friends or roommates to purchase houses as home prices surge.
The pandemic continues to cause uncertainty in box office returns, with the most recent installment of the James Bond franchise pulling in a muted $56 million in its debut weekend.
The U.K. surpassed 40,000 new COVID-19 infections Monday for the first time since July. Rough estimates show more than 1 million people in the nation are suffering from long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.
Mexico’s Health Ministry reports that COVID-19 infections in the country so far this month are down 43% and deaths are down 24%.
Tokyo reported just 49 new COVID-19 cases Monday, marking the third consecutive day of low infection numbers in Japan’s capital.
Hong Kong officials are waiting to see a rise in COVID-19 vaccination rates before loosening travel restrictions, a contrast to other Asian nations that have begun reopening borders amid a decline in infections.
A new French study of more than 22 million people found that being vaccinated against COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization or dying from the virus by 90%.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech is the world’s most sought-after jab, with the manufacturer having shipped over 1.6 billion doses to 130 countries since the start of the pandemic.
New research from the U.K. has identified a possible genetic link between Alzheimer’s disease and severe COVID-19 infection.
Debt from the world’s low-income countries climbed to a record $860 billion in 2020, as the pandemic caused major financial problems and spurred the creation of large stimulus packages. The pandemic has also put an estimated 100+ million people into poverty, the United Nations says.
A new government report from India warns that volatile prices for crude oil, edible oils and metal products pose concerns for the country’s economic growth.
Passenger numbers at London’s Heathrow airport were just 38% of pre-pandemic levels in September, driven mostly by a decline in traffic from North America.
Volkswagen will decide on the location of its planned battery cell plant in Eastern Europe in the first half of 2022.
Tesla aims to deliver its first group of vehicles from a new factory in Berlin in December, with plans to build up to 10,000 vehicles per week next year.
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