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Oil clambers larger as OPEC, allies transfer nearer to deeper

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil costs jumped 1.5% on Wednesday on hopes that main producers have made progress in direction of sealing an settlement to implement deeper output cuts aimed toward offsetting the droop in demand brought on by the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks function at sundown in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Brent crude LCOc1 rose by 78 cents, or 1.50%, to $52.64 a barrel at 0502 GMT, after settling down four cents within the earlier session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 rose by 72 cents, or 1.53%, to $47.90 a barrel, up for a 3rd session.

A panel of the Group of Petroleum Exporting International locations (OPEC) and its allies, a grouping often known as OPEC+, advisable reducing oil output by an additional 1 million barrels per day (bpd) on Tuesday. The advice might imply that Russia and Saudi Arabia, the 2 greatest producers within the OPEC+ group, are near a deal to assist costs.

That will be along with 2.1 million bpd in present output cuts that embody a 1.7 million bpd in curbs by OPEC+ and different voluntary reductions by Saudi Arabia, the world’s greatest exporter. The group is ready to fulfill formally in Vienna on March 5-6.

“That is no time for warning for OPEC+. Second-quarter oversupply wanted some heavy lifting from the group to offset even earlier than the COVID-19 (coronavirus illness) outbreak, however now it’s a should,” Barclays analysts mentioned in a analysis notice.

Brent and WTI have every fallen about 27% from their 2020-peak reached in January.

The anticipated 1 million bpd extra minimize by OPEC+ would nonetheless fall effectively in need of the newly elevated 2.1 million bpd anticipated world demand loss within the first half alone, Goldman Sachs analysts (GS.N) wrote in a analysis notice.

U.S. crude oil inventories rose in the newest week, whereas gasoline and distillate shares fell, knowledge from trade group the American Petroleum Institute confirmed on Tuesday.

Crude inventories rose by 1.7 million barrels within the week to Feb. 28 to 446.6 million barrels, in contrast with analysts’ expectations for a construct of two.6 million barrels.

Goldman has once more minimize its Brent value forecast to $45 a barrel in April, whereas anticipating Brent regularly recovering to $60 a barrel by year-end.

Morgan Stanley on Tuesday additionally minimize its second-quarter 2020 Brent value forecast to $55 per barrel and its WTI outlook to $50 on expectations that China’s 2020 oil demand development can be near zero and that demand elsewhere might weaken due to the virus.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Federal Reserve minimize rates of interest on Tuesday in a bid to protect the world’s largest economic system from the influence of the coronavirus.

“(The) Fed’s emergency fee minimize underscores fragility of financial fundamentals, and this urges OPEC+ to expedite a deeper output minimize to shore up vitality costs,” mentioned Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets.

Yang mentioned from a technical evaluation perspective, Brent has discovered sturdy assist at round $50-52, whereas quick resistance will be discovered at $54.70.

Reporting by Shu Zhang; Modifying by Christian Schmollinger and Kenneth Maxwell

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Dollar tramples yen and safe-haven status, gold gains

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The strong dollar got stronger on Thursday, rising to a three-year high against a basket of trading partner currencies, after a steep slide in the Japanese yen called into question its safe-haven status while the rally in U.S. equities took a pause.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Gold prices hit their highest level in seven years as investors sought safe-haven assets after a rise in the number of new coronavirus cases in South Korea and the price of oil rose, supported by China’s efforts to bolster its virus-weakened economy.

The dollar has surged almost 2% since Tuesday against the yen, reaching its highest in almost 10 months, and the greenback climbed to near three-year highs against the euro.

The dollar index of the world’s most-traded currencies rose 0.12% to its highest level since May 2017.

The index is up 3.6% this year. It also gained to its best levels of the year against China’s offshore yuan and MSCI’s index of emerging-market currencies.

A host of reasons were cited for the dollar’s move, ranging from the outperformance of the U.S. economy and corporate earnings to potential recessions in Japan and the euro zone.

A run of dire economic news out of Japan has stirred talk the country is already in recession and that Japanese funds were dumping local assets in favor of U.S. shares and gold.

“The strongest explanation (for the yen’s decline) is a widespread selling by Japanese asset managers amid growing fears about the health of Japan’s economy,” said Raffi Boyadijian, investment analyst at XM.

The yen’s slide is unusual because the exchange rate with the dollar has been unraveling from its close correlation to the price of gold and U.S. Treasury yields, a development that must be watched, he said.

“This raises question marks about whether the yen is losing some of its shine as the world’s preferred safe-haven currency,” Boyadijian said.

China reported a drop in new virus cases and announced an interest rate cut to buttress its economy. But South Korea recorded an increase in new cases, Japan reported two deaths and researchers said the pathogen seemed to spread more easily than previously believed.

A rally that had lifted major U.S. and European stock indexes to record highs this week lost steam, as investors fretted about the spread of the coronavirus outside of China.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.84% and emerging market stocks lost 0.95%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.62%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 283.03 points, or 0.96%, to 29,065. The S&P 500 lost 30.99 points, or 0.92%, to 3,355.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 131.33 points, or 1.34%, to 9,685.85.

Morgan Stanley’s multibillion-dollar buyout for E*Trade Financial boosted the discount brokerage’s shares.

E*Trade jumped 24.4% after Morgan Stanley offered to pay $13 billion in an all-stock deal, the biggest acquisition by a Wall Street bank since the financial crisis.

Morgan Stanley’s shares fell 3.6%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5% overnight, led by drops in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,616.74 an ounce, after hitting its highest since February 2013 at $1,622.19.

Oil prices rose further after a U.S. report showed a draw in gasoline inventories and a much smaller-than-anticipated rise in crude stocks.

U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell 2 million barrels in the week to Feb. 14. Analysts had estimated an increase of 400,000 barrels.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that crude inventories rose only 414,000 barrels last week, compared with a 2.5 million-barrel rise that analysts had expected in a Reuters poll. [EIA/S]

Brent crude futures rose 58 cents to $59.70 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate gained 91 cents to $54.20 a barrel.

Demand for safe-haven U.S. Treasury debt was robust, driving the 30-year bond yield below the psychologically significant 2% level to its lowest since September 2019.

The 30-year bond last rose 39/32 in price to push its yield down to 1.9626%.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 17/32 in price to yield 1.5135%.

Reporting by Herbert Lash; additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho in London; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Excitement Grows As Mega Millions Payout Soars



Someone is hoping to ring in the New Year with a winning Mega Millions ticket. The lottery game, played in 41 states and the District of Columbia, is worth an estimated $242 Million. The drawing will be held tonight. (Dec. 31)

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Animaionic Maximus: An upcoming Thunderbolt 3 dock supporting triple graphics cards for Mac

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Possible Mega Millions Winner Appears



The woman who claimed she purchased one of the winning Mega Millions lottery tickets appeared with her attorney on Wednesday. The attorney said he hasn’t seen the ticket and he doesn’t know if Mirlande Wilson has it. (April 5)

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Investors charge back into stocks on signs coronavirus spread is slowing

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LONDON (Reuters) – A drop in the number of new coronavirus cases and the Federal Reserve chairman’s optimistic view of the economy lifted world stocks for a third day on Wednesday and sparked a 2% rally in oil prices, on hopes the epidemic’s effects would be contained.

FILE PHOTO: An investor monitors share market prices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris.

China reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases since late January, lending weight to a prediction from its senior medical adviser that the outbreak might be over by April. A continued decline in new cases would inflict would keep the epidemic from doing as much economic damage as initially feared,

Those reports encouraged investors to get back into equities at the expense of bonds, gold and the Japanese yen — safe-haven assets that benefited as the virus death toll mounted.

“The virus may retard the modest upturn in global trade and manufacturing output which we predict to unfold from the second quarter of 2020s. But it seems unlikely to derail it,” analysts at Berenberg told clients.

The damage to Western economies in particular “will likely be modest and mostly temporary,” the bank said.

MSCI’s global equity index rose 0.12% to stand just off Tuesday’s record highs .MIWD00000PUS. A pan-European equity index rose to a record as automobile stocks — which depend on exports to China — jumped 1.2% .SXAP.

Futures indicated Wall Street would extend gains from Tuesday, when the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted record closing highs ESC1 [.N].

In Asia, mainland Chinese and Hong Kong shares rose almost 1% .CSI300. The offshore-traded yuan reached two-week highs CNH=D3. The Thai baht, Korean won and Taiwanese dollar, reliant on Chinese tourism and trade, gained 0.3% to 0.5% THB= KRW= TWD=. The yen slipped 0.3% JPY=EBS to a three-week low against the dollar.

Brent crude futures rose from 13-month lows, helped by the likelihood producers would cut output LCOc1. Brent is still down almost 20% from its peaks in early January.

Some noted it remained unclear whether the coronavirus had peaked. Some Chinese companies said they were laying off workers as supply chains for goods had ruptured.

“Evidence suggests the positive mood will continue, and we see some coordination in markets with oil rallying, base metals up and Treasuries coming under pressure,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. But “I am not ready to buy risk assets yet.”

U.S. RESILIENCE

Yields on U.S. Treasuries and German Bunds US10YT=RR rose 3 to 4 basis points. Ten-year U.S. yields are now 13 bps off the four-and-a-half-month lows hit late January though almost 30 bps below where they started 2020.

Yields had risen on Tuesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy was “resilient”. Powell also said he was monitoring the coronavirus, because it could lead to disruptions that affect the global economy.

The dollar had risen to four-month highs against a basket of currencies .DXY but inched off those levels on Wednesday.

U.S. markets also got a boost from signs President Donald Trump might be re-elected in November, since centrist candidates for the Democratic nomination appear to be struggling .

“Trump had a great start into the U.S. election season. After the early end of the impeachment trial in the Senate and the Iowa caucus chaos for the Democrats, betting markets suggest that Trump has a 58% probability of winning re-election on 3 November,” Berenberg noted.

The day’s big currency mover was the New Zealand dollar NZD=D3, which rose 0.8% for its biggest daily gain since December, after the central bank dropped a reference to further rate cuts, suggesting its easing cycle might be over.

Additional reporting by Stanley White in Tokyo, editing by Larry King

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Hundreds Make Road Trip to Play Mega Millions



Residents of lottery-less states dreaming of the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot had to travel to buy tickets. More than 1,200 people lined up by 9 a.m. Friday to buy tickets in Primm, Nevada which sits right across the California border. (March 30)

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$949 Million Powerball Winning Numbers Announced



The winning numbers for the record $949.8 million Powerball jackpot are 32-16-19-57-34 and Powerball number 13. The Multi-State Lottery Association announced the numbers live on television and on its website Saturday. (Jan. 9)

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Wall St. reaches new highs as China moves to limit coronavirus impact

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(Reuters) – U.S. stocks gained for a fourth straight session on Thursday and Wall Street’s main indexes hit record highs as concerns eased over the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China.

China said it would halve additional tariffs levied against some U.S. goods, seen by analysts as a move to boost confidence after the fast-spreading coronavirus disrupted businesses and sparked broad market volatility.

“The one primary thing that everyone has been listening to and watching and seeing how it moves the market has been the coronavirus,” said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner for Meridian Equity Partners in New York. “The headlines have been somewhat neutral lately, and that has been acceptable for the markets.”

Adding to the optimism for stocks were data showing that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low last week, with investors casting an eye toward Friday’s monthly U.S. employment report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 88.92 points, or 0.3%, to 29,379.77, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 11.09 points, or 0.33%, to 3,345.78 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 63.47 points, or 0.67%, to 9,572.15.

Among S&P 500 sectors, communication services .SPLRCL and technology .SPLRCT led the way, while energy .SPNY fell the most.

Even with optimism about containing the broad economic damage from the coronavirus, the impact of the health emergency in China continued to show up in corporate reports. Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) flagged a potential threat to the mobile phone industry from the outbreak. Its shares fell 0.3%.

Investors were also digesting the acquittal on Wednesday of U.S. President Donald Trump on impeachment charges.

“The outcome was fairly well telegraphed and I think widely believed, but it ends the chapter for now and I think that is a modest positive for investor sentiment,” said James Ragan, director of wealth management research at D.A. Davidson in Seattle.

With the fourth-quarter corporate reporting season more than halfway completed, S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased earnings by 2.1% for the period, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

In earnings news, Becton Dickinson and Co (BDX.N) shares slid 11.8%, contributing the biggest drag on the S&P 500, after the medical technology company cut its 2020 forecast.

Kellogg (K.N) shares slumped 8.5% after the breakfast cereal maker forecast full-year earnings that widely missed market expectations.

Twitter shares (TWTR.N) soared 15.0% after the social media company reported $1 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time.

Philip Morris International shares (PM.N) rose 2.7% after the tobacco company released results.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 62 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 122 new highs and 41 new lows.

About 7.3 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, below the 7.7 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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No Winning Ticket for $454 Million Jackpot



A Virginia Lottery spokesman tells The Associated Press that no winning ticket was sold for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing. The jackpot was an estimated $454 million. The jackpot for Friday’s drawing is estimated to be $508 million. (July 6)

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Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe:

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