Oil prices dropped Friday to close the week about 13% lower, the steepest weekly fall in two years, after members of the International Energy Agency agreed to join in the largest-ever release of emergency oil reserves. Details of the agreement, which includes Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and most of Europe, will be released early this week.
In late-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 2.3% at $101.60/bbl, Brent was up 1.8% at $106.20/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 0.3% at $5.74/MMBtu.
U.S. energy firms added three oil and gas rigs last week, the second week of gains, although growth remains slow as drillers continue returning cash to shareholders rather than boosting production.
The average U.S. gasoline price dropped to $4.19 a gallon Sunday, a decline of 14 cents since hitting an all-time high of $4.33 three weeks ago.
The U.S. administration unveiled new fuel economy rules late last week, including a stepping scale that will require automakers to raise their average fleet miles per gallon to 49 by 2026.
Wounded by commercial customer closures during the pandemic, natural gas and electricity retailer Volunteer Energy Services filed for bankruptcy and intends to wind down its business. Based in Ohio, the company provides natural gas and electricity to 212,000 homes and businesses in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Airfreight prices from China to the U.S. hit $8.54/kilogram for the week ended March 28, up 22% over the previous three weeks after more than 1,800 flights at Shanghai’s two airports were canceled due to lockdowns.
Sanctions are crippling China’s ambitions to send more exports to Europe on a 7,500-mile rail corridor through Russia, a key part of the nation’s years-long Belt and Road program.
Mexico is gaining ground as firms reset their supply chains from China, with procurement bids from large American manufacturers rising sixfold in the nation in 2020, compared to a 9% decline in bids to suppliers based in China.
The share of U.S. employees telecommuting dropped to 10% in March, down from 22% last year and 35% two years ago.
Average U.S. hourly earnings were up 0.4% in March, a level slightly below the half-year average in a sign that employers are feeling less pressure to offer pay increases to keep up with inflation. Compensation for chief executives has risen sharply.
College enrollment nationwide is down 5% since 2019 as schools grapple to overcome pandemic disruption and the lure of a robust job market for prospective students.
The average nightly hotel rate in the U.S. hit $149.38 last week, the third highest ever recorded, as hoteliers seize on a rise in travel after two years of pandemic restrictions.
Mortgage delinquencies rose for the first time in nine months in February as pandemic relief programs began expiring. The delinquency rate is now near its pre-pandemic levels.
GM’s U.S. sales slid over 20% in the first quarter, one of the largest drops amid an industry-wide slump, even as sales of electric vehicles surged.
While 68% higher than last year, Tesla delivered a lower-than-expected 310,000 vehicles across the globe last quarter due to supply disruptions and COVID-induced lockdowns in China.
The “XE” strain of COVID-19 — a hybrid of Omicron and its BA.2 subvariant — could be the most transmissible yet, officials say. The strain was first discovered in the U.K. in January and has been detected 600 times since.
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