Oil trimmed its third weekly advance as Canadian energy producers moved to resume operations after wildfires eased.
Futures slipped 0.3 percent in New York. Suncor Energy Inc is seeking to return most of its workers by next week and begin startup of oil-sands facilities that were shut down by forest fires, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Prices climbed above US$50 a barrel on Thursday as declining US crude supplies eroded a global glut.
“Finally supply and demand are coming into balance,” said Mark Watkins, the Park City, Utah-based regional investment manager for The Private Client Group of US Bank. “There are going to be headwinds as you near the US$50-US$60 range. Inventories are still high and we have to work them off.”
Oil has surged more than 85 percent in New York since touching a 12-year low in February on signs the worldwide surplus will ease amid declining production in Nigeria, Libya, Canada and the US. OPEC is unlikely to reach any agreement to limit output when it meets on Thursday, as the group sticks with Saudi Arabia’s strategy of squeezing out rivals, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery dropped US$0.15 to close at US$49.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Front-month WTI climbed 3.3 percent this week. Futures touched US$50.21 on Thursday, the highest since Oct. 9. Total volume traded was 43 percent below the 100-day average at 2:45pm.
Brent for July settlement decreased US$0.27, or 0.5 percent, to US$49.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Futures rose 1.2 percent this week. The contract reached US$50.51 during trading on Thursday, the highest since Nov. 4. The global benchmark closed at a US$0.01 discount to WTI.
Meanwhile, gold is looking very different than it did at the beginning of this month. Along with platinum, palladium and silver, it is heading for the biggest monthly loss since November last year as investors anticipate higher borrowing costs in the US.
Bullion has pared this year’s rally after retreating more than 5 percent this month as the US dollar rallied and investors raised bets on the US Federal Reserve increasing interest rates as early as next month. Higher rates curb gold’s appeal against interest-bearing assets. US Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke on Friday at Harvard University, saying an increase in rates in the coming months might be appropriate. The comments come after a number of regional Fed presidents have indicated their willingness to tighten policy.
Gold futures for August delivery dropped 0.5 percent to settle at US$1,216.70 an ounce at 1:47pm on the COMEX in New York. The metal is down 5.7 percent this month.
Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded funds added 1.5 tonnes to 1,844.9 tonnes as of Thursday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Silver futures for July delivery dropped 0.5 percent to US$16.269 an ounce on the COMEX. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum and palladium declined.
Global shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones this year are expected to decline 13.6 percent year-on-year to 1.9 billion units, US market research firm Gartner Inc said in a report yesterday. While PC shipments are forecast to fall 10.5 percent to 235.19 million from 262.71 million last year, the contraction in the overall PC market could have been much more severe, Gartner said. “Government lockdowns due to COVID-19 forced businesses and schools to enable millions of people to work from home and increase spending on new notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets,” Gartner senior research director Ranjit Atwal said. Shipments of tablets and Chromebooks
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has deferred the implementation of the Basel III standards and capital requirements for “domestic systemically important banks” to ease their capital pressure so they can concentrate on helping businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, FSC Chairman Thomas Huang (黃天牧) said yesterday. The Basel III standards were set by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and were originally to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. They have stricter capital requirements and adopt different approaches to calculating risks. However, the implementation of the standards would be delayed by one year in line with the revised timeline announced by
Phoenix Silicon International Corp (昇陽半導體) yesterday said strong demand from customers means it would maintain its capacity expansion plan for this year. The silicon wafer recycler, which counts Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) among its major customers, next quarter plans to add a capacity of 60,000 12-inch wafers per month, bringing its total capacity to 300,000 wafers a month. “Phoenix Silicon is enhancing its smart manufacturing capabilities and actively expanding 12-inch capacity at an existing fab to satisfy customer demand,” Phoenix chairman Mike Yang (楊聰敏) said in the firm’s annual report. Phoenix is also evaluating the feasibility of building a second fab
FLAMBOYANT: Stanley Ho, who was married four times and had 17 known children, developed the junket VIP system and was loved by Macanese for his philanthropy Macau gambling king Stanley Ho (何鴻燊), who built a business empire from scratch in the former Portuguese colony and became one of Asia’s richest men, died yesterday at the age of 98. The flamboyant tycoon, who loved to dance, and advised his nearest and dearest to shun gambling, headed one of the world’s most lucrative gaming businesses through his flagship firm, SJM Holdings Ltd (澳門博彩控), valued at about US$6 billion. Shielded from challengers by a four-decade monopoly on gambling, Ho helped transform Macau from a sleepy peninsula dotted with seedy, windowless gambling dens into the world’s biggest casino center. However, Ho’s interests in