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US President expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut...

April 02, 2020: President Donald Trump said Thursday that after speaking to Saudi Arabia's leader he expects oil production to be slashed, defusing a Saudi-Russian price war that has heavily impacted the US energy industry.

"Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia," Trump tweeted, referring to Mohammed bin Salman and Vladimir Putin.

"I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!" Trump tweeted.

"Could be as high as 15 Million Barrels," he added in a subsequent post.

It was not clear from the tweets how much each of the two countries was intending to reduce output.

Putin spokesman's Dmitry Peskov later told Interfax news agency the Russian leader and the Saudi crown prince did not talk.

But the hint of good news send benchmark Brent North Sea and West Texas Intermediate crude prices soaring more than 30 percent after Trump's tweet.

US shale oil producers have made the country self-sufficient but are being walloped by falling oil prices and the global economic slowdown.

The American oil group Whiting Petroleum Corporation, which specializes in shale deposits in North Dakota and Colorado, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, which under US law allows the company protection from its creditors while it restructures.

Trump has said he will meet with US energy executives to discuss the situation, but the American Petroleum Institute, which was organizing the Friday meeting, denied its purpose was to ask for financial help.

The economic carnage from the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak mounted in the US on Thursday, with new government statistics showing first-time claims for unemployment benefits hitting 6.65 million, the most ever recorded, for a two-week total of 10 million.

AFP/APP

Pakistan’s Forex Reserves Decrease by 3.96 Percent

Apr 02, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan's Forex Reserves decreased by USD 717.60 Million or 3.96% and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 17,387.50 Million on Mar 27, 2020.

According to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) its reserves decreased by USD 803.60 Million. This decline is attributed primarily to government external debt payments, that amounted to US$441 million, and other official payments.

However, reserves held by commercial banks increased by USD 86 million.

Summary of Holding and Weekly Change

Foreign reserves held byMar 27, 2020Mar 20, 2020Change% Change
State Bank of Pakistan11,185.6011,989.20-803.60-6.70%
Net Foreign Reserves Held by Banks6,201.906,115.9086.001.41%
Total Liquid Foreign Reserves17,387.5018,105.10-717.60-3.96%

Amount in USD Million

Copyright Mettis Link News

Foreign investors flee with $52.17 mln net on April...

April 2, 2020 (MLN): The first day of the new month witnessed 21% decline in the outflow of hot money from government debt securities, as the foreign investors extracted $47.63 million from T-bills on April 1, 2020, compared to $59.96 million in the previous session.

Country- wise, the highest withdrawal during the said day was made my UK investors, as they retracted $35 million from T-bills, followed by US investors with the withdrawal of $10 million.

On the other hand, Pakistan equities witnessed an outflow of $5.8 million, taking the total net outflow within the local market to clock in at $52.17 million during the day mentioned above.

Cumulatively from July to date, foreign investors have so far withdrawn $2.16 billion from Pakistan debt market against the injection of $3.49 billion, indicating that still $1.33 billion investment still parked in T-bills and PIBs.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Govt. to take all possible measures to save people...

April 02, 2020: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Thursday that the government was taking all possible measures to save the people from negative effects of COVID-9 and cope with its negative impact on country’s economy.

Addressing the tax-refund cheque distribution ceremony here, the adviser said that the Rs1200 billion relief package, announced by the government, was particularly focused on achieving three objectives including the provision of security, food, and cash to deserving people to fulfill their requirements.

He said that the Prime Minister had already inaugurated the Rs150 billion program under which 12 million families across the country would be given cash, adding that each family would be given Rs12000.

He said that one-third population of the country would benefit from this initiative taken by the government in current hard times.

Secondly, the adviser added, the business community was also badly affected by this hostile situation and in order to facilitate this segment of society, the government had taken five big decisions.

The decisions including the provision of Rs200 billion to those employees who had been badly affected by the situation and were facing unemployment threats or other difficulties.

Secondly, he added, the government had announced Rs100 billion for SME sector employees and owners, saying that currently if they were facing issues in repaying principle amount or interests, they would be given relaxation.

Third, he added, Rs100 billion were being refunded to people, particularly businessmen and exporters. While the government had also set aside Rs100 billion to bear the effects of deferred payments of electricity and gas bills. He said, people do not need now to pay their bills immediately and they can differ it for three months keeping in view the current situation.

He said that Rs70 billion have been provided by the government to reduce the prices of petrol, diesel and other imported oil.

He said that the government had also exempted all food products from all types of duties and importantly, it would procure wheat of around Rs200 billion with main objective to ensure the farmers get money so that there was no contraction in the economy and the demand for agriculture products is increased.

Talking about the refunds, the adviser said that Rs100 were being refunded in four different ways, including Rs30 billion refunds of Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) through commerce ministry, through FASTER sales tax mechanism under which record refunds have been made to exporters and now Rs10 billion more were being provided under this mechanism.

Likewise, Rs52 billion would be paid as the sales tax refunds to non-exporters, whereas Rs15 billion were being provided in duty drawbacks. The adviser said that this brings the total to Rs107 billion, which is being provided to the business community.

The adviser said that the process of refunds would be completed within a week. He lauded the efforts of the government led by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan for paying all the sales tax refunds.

 “I want to say to PM that it is the contribution of your government that no sales tax refund would remain payable,” and termed it a historic measure taken by the government as there would be now no refunds which were verified and not paid.

He said that the federal government was in contact with businessmen and provincial governments so that the relief package money was being spent transparently and reaches to those who are affected by the COVID-9 hostile situation.

APP

PM stresses resolution of energy issues by removing systemic...

April 02, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday directed the ministry concerned to accelerate reforms in the energy sector by removing the systemic hurdles and effectively utilizing the limited resources for ensuring relief to the common man.

                 The problems in the energy sector were directly related to the people’s lives, which necessitated their accelerated solution, he observed.

                The prime minister was chairing a meeting on the reforms process in the gas sector. Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razzak Dawood, Special Assistant to the PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and senior officers of ministries attended the meeting, a PM Office press release said.

                Briefing the prime minister in detail on the reforms process in the gas sector and availability of the petroleum products, Nadeem Babar said a sufficient stock of the products was available in the country.

                The prime minister said the resolution of energy-related issues was among the government’s priorities and the reforms process in the gas sector would continue uninterrupted.

                He said the availability of limited gas reservoirs necessitated the judicious and productive use of the resources. He called for considering the availability of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the areas lacking the supply of natural gas to make the people meet their daily needs without cutting trees for the purpose.

APP

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