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fell modestly Wednesday on news of lower U.S. gasoline demand. In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were
down 3.7% at $96.16/bbl, Brent was down 2.8% at $103.90/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 0.1% at $8.02/MMBtu. U.S. natural gas futures are up
48% this month, including a 10% jump Wednesday, as a heatwave drives demand. U.S. crude inventories fell by
446,000 barrels last week, reversing forecasts for a build. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories were higher than expected after a 7.6% drop in gasoline demand from the same time last year. Declining favor for new crude projects has led U.S. midstream firms to
boost plans for natural gas pipelines and export terminals, a key growth opportunity. Canada’s Keystone oil pipeline
operated at reduced rates for a third day following a pump failure in South Dakota. Oil field services provider Baker Hughes reported a
larger-than-expected Q2 loss, led by a $365 million charge from its Russian operations and supply chain issues. Shell is exploring a sale of its stakes in two U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas developments, potentially raising as much as
$1.5 billion for the energy major. Houston’s Cheniere Energy reached a long-term deal to
supply PetroChina with LNG from 2026 to 2050. U.S. power grids are
increasing their resilience in the face of more frequent extreme weather events, industry leaders say. The International Energy Agency says
global demand for electricity is slowing sharply due to recessionary fears and high prices. More oil news related to the war in Europe:
The EU formally proposed that member nations cut their natural gas consumption by
15% over the next eight months in a plan that would affect all households, power producers and industry.
Shipments of natural gas on the key Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany
resumed at a reduced rate this morning, ending 10 days of tense speculation about whether Moscow would completely halt flows. A European bailout for German power supplier Uniper
could be finalized this week, allowing for greater governmental control but also for higher prices for customers. China’s large purchases of discounted Russian crude are
upending global trade flows. In the first quarter of this year, China approved new coal-fired power capacity
equivalent to its capacity approvals through the first half of last year. Striking workers are
disrupting LNG production at one of Shell’s offshore locations in Australia.
Low water levels on major transport rivers in drought-stricken Germany will
dent the nation’s output this year, banks warn. Truckers say they are
prepared to block the West Coast’s third-busiest container port in Oakland until reforms are made to the state’s tightened rules on non-employee drivers, which could take weeks or months.
Containers are piling up at rail terminals across the U.S. as the White House’s recent intervention helped avoid a labor strike but did little to alleviate a crippling worker shortage. U.S. trucking volumes rose
2.3% from Q1 to Q2, reversing declines in the previous two quarters. The U.S. took its first step toward
imposing new tariffs on a range of Mexican products Wednesday, part of an escalating dispute over Mexico’s energy policies. Britain’s Royal Mail service is
losing up to 1 million pounds per day as inflation-hit consumers cut back on online shopping and postal workers threaten to strike. Prices for key solar-panel material polysilicon
rose for the eighth week to their highest in a decade, threatening to slow installations. Soaring earnings at shipping companies signal the need for
tougher competition rules, according to the OECD’s International Transport Forum. In the latest news from the auto industry:
The U.S. House plans to vote as early as
next week on a slimmed-down version of legislation providing tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits for the semiconductor industry. Shares of major chipmaking firms are
down by double-digit percentages this year as a chip shortage turned into an inventory glut in some sectors. U.S. computer chipmaker SkyWater announced plans to build a
$1.8 billion factory at Purdue University in Indiana. Projected global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment should hit
$117.5 billion this year, up 14.7% from last year’s record level, according to trade group Semi. Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s top copper producer, put a
temporary halt on construction of all mining projects following the death of two workers in less than a month. Ukraine has
resumed loading bulk vessels with grain at the Port of Odessa following reclamation of the strategic Snake Island.
The U.S. reported
126,018 new COVID-19 infections and 353 virus fatalities Wednesday. New COVID-19 cases in California rose
36% the past month, while 90% of Californians live in areas with high infection rates. New York
extended its pandemic state of emergency as virus hospitalizations rise, straining medical facilities.
Less than 50% of eligible Americans have gotten booster shots against COVID-19, the CDC says. Survey results show only
36% of Americans typically wear a mask outside their homes, the lowest number since the pandemic began. Omicron differs from earlier variants of COVID-19, with
sore throat and hoarse voice its top symptoms. People who catch COVID-19 have a
greater risk of being diagnosed with diabetes and heart conditions for weeks after infection, according to a new study. U.S. home sales fell
5.4% to an adjusted rate of 5.12 million units in June, a two-year low, reflecting a surge in borrowing rates.
The median U.S. home price rose
13.4% year over year to a record $416,000, while mortgage demand is down to the lowest level since 2000. High prices for personal- and home-care items are finally weighing on demand, with
retail sales falling for seven out of nine categories in the latest quarter, according to Bloomberg. The number of U.S. workplaces experiencing union organizing efforts rose this year to a
six-year high. Americans over age 75 are the
only age group whose labor-force participation rate is projected to grow over the next decade, potentially by as much as twofold, due in part to inflation pressures. Venture capitalists invested around
$16 billion in U.S. early-stage deals in the second quarter, a 22% decrease from a year ago. Macy’s is quickening plans to
open smaller stores that aren’t attached to suburban shopping malls, a shift in strategy spurred by the pandemic, the retailer said. Boeing has been cranking out order announcements at this week’s Farnborough Airshow, restoring momentum with
at least 100 firm orders for its 737 MAX. United Airlines reported a quarterly profit of
$329 million and a 6% revenue gain over the comparable quarter in 2019, marking its first quarterly profit without government aid since the beginning of the pandemic. Many prominent U.S. tech companies are
slowing hiring amid recessionary fears. Microsoft began cutting open positions Wednesday, while Google imposed a two-week hiring freeze. Pfizer is investing
$470 million to expand a vaccine research facility near New York City. Wall Street cut revenue estimates for the U.S. cruise industry by at least
5% in recent months as labor shortages dent the industry’s recovery just when the last restrictions are being lifted. The U.S. president stopped short of a rumored climate emergency declaration Wednesday but promised to
take executive action to spur renewables development. Officials say climate-induced extreme weather events led to $145 billion in damages last year.
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