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Oil prices fell 2% Friday on expectations that supply disruptions in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico would be short-term. Prices rose about 3.5% for the week.
Oil prices dropped by more than $4/bbl Monday as demand concerns in China weighed heavily on markets after new data showed the nation’s refinery output dropped to 12.53 million bpd in July, its lowest since March 2020.
In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 4.2% at $88.25/bbl, Brent was down 4.0% at $94.18/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 2.3% at $8.57/MMBtu.
Active U.S. oil and gas rigs fell by one last week to a total of 763, the second week of declines.
A damaged oil pipeline that disrupted 600,000 bpd of output from several offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms was repaired late Friday, according to Louisiana officials, allowing Shell, Chevron and Equinor to reactivate some of the halted production.
California’s governor offered utility PG&E a $1.4 billion loan to extend the life of a nuclear plant by as much as a decade as the state seeks to bolster power reliability.
Saudi Aramco nearly doubled quarterly profit to $48.4 billion, the most since its shares went public in 2019, on the back of high oil prices and strong refining profit.
Mexico, which imports nearly all the natural gas it consumes, plans to use its proximity to U.S. shale gas to become a top LNG exporter, with several of eight planned export projects potentially coming online by 2023.
Pemex asked the Mexican government for $6.5 billion in additional funding to help build its new “Dos Bocas” refinery, whose costs have spiraled to nearly $15 billion.
Germany’s gas-storage facilities reached a fill level of 75% two weeks ahead of schedule, as Europe’s biggest economy tries to shore up supplies cut by Russia.
Germany set its new gas tax, intended to distribute the burden of higher energy costs due to the war in Ukraine, at between 2 and 3 euro cents per kWh, amounting to an additional 400-600 euros per year for an average family of four.
Libyan crude production averaged nearly 1.2 million bpd in 2021 before a sharp drop-off amid civil unrest early this year:
Water levels in Germany’s Rhine River could fall to just 11.8 inches near Frankfurt this week, choking off transport of vital commodities to parts of inland Europe. Much of Europe has seen weeks of baking temperatures, with wildfires raging in France and parts of England facing severe drought amid successive heatwaves.
China’s weather bureau warned that the country’s average ground temperatures have risen much faster than the global average over the past 70 years and will remain significantly higher as the challenges of climate change mount.
A 22-year mega-drought hitting California and the rest of the U.S. West is believed to be the driest period in 1,200 years, with the potential of a 10% reduction in water supplies by 2040.
Wall Street closed higher Friday on signs that inflation may have peaked in July, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 notching a fourth week of gains, their longest win streak since November.
U.S. import prices fell for the first time in seven months in July, helped by a strong dollar and lower fuel and non-fuel costs:
Export prices also fell by 3.3% from a month earlier, the first drop in seven months:
The University of Michigan’s gauge of U.S. consumer sentiment rose several points to 55.1 in August, the highest in three months. Meanwhile, a measure of consumers’ one-year inflation outlook fell in August, signaling price pressures may have peaked.
The number of U.S. workers is down by 400,000 since March after approaching pre-pandemic levels earlier in the year, according to the Labor Department. Stalled improvement could increase the risk of recession within the next two years, economists say.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $430 billion bill Friday that is seen as the biggest climate-change package in U.S. history, paving the way for final approval from the administration sometime this week.
U.S. housing affordability hit its lowest level since 1989 in June as record-high prices combined with rising mortgage rates to push more buyers out of the market.
Peloton plans to cut over 800 jobs, raise prices for its workout machines and close most retail locations after suffering a punishing slowdown in the past year, including a 90% fall in its stock price.
The U.S. summer box office sold about $3.03 billion worth of tickets through Aug. 7, more than double last year’s haul but still about $600 million behind pre-pandemic levels.
The U.S. administration will soon put over $3 billion into two programs to help communities with floods, wildfires, extreme heat and other problems related to climate change, officials said.
Global COVID-19 fatalities fell 9% last week while new cases remained relatively flat, according to the World Health Organization.
COVID-19 cases in Japan rose 9% last week to nearly 1.5 million, the most in the world for the third straight week.
Japan’s economy grew 2.2% in the latest quarter on a revival in consumer spending after an easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Thailand’s economy grew 2.5% in the latest quarter, the fastest pace in a year, on a rebound in economic activity and tourism.
Ukraine entered default, according to global ratings agencies S&P and Fitch.
British paper and packaging firm Mondi will sell its largest plant in Russia for $1.6 billion.
China’s central bank cut interest rates today as the nation’s economic recovery unexpectedly weakened in July as fresh COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on consumer and business spending. The nation’s retail sales grew at a slower-than-expected pace of 2.7%, while industrial production missed forecasts with a 3.8% growth rate.
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