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Saudi Arabia seeks urgent OPEC+ meeting to stabilise oil...

April 02, 2020: Leading world crude exporter Saudi Arabia on Thursday made a surprise call for a meeting of the OPEC+ oil producers to "stabilise the oil market" amid a price war.

"The kingdom calls for an urgent meeting of OPEC+ and a group of other countries with the aim to try and reach a fair deal to restore balance to the oil market," said a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The move followed a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"This call comes in the framework of the kingdom's continued support for the global economy under these exceptional circumstances and in estimation of a call by US President Donald Trump and US friends," the statement said.

Riyadh reiterated that it had tried to reach an agreement among OPEC+ members to cut production and "secured the support of 22 countries... but failed to secure consensus".

Saudi Arabia had blamed Russia for refusing to agree to an additional output cut of 1.5 million barrels per day on top of reduction already in place of 1.7 million bpd.

As a result, the kingdom opened its crude oil taps, deciding to raise its production to a record 12.3 percent from April 1.

It later said it will export at least 10 million bpd in April, which will be raised to a record high 10.6 million bpd to flood the global markets.

The price war sent prices crashing to 18-year lows, putting a tremendous pressure on US shale oil, which is expensive to produce.

AFP/APP

Coronavirus drives 6.65 million to file for US jobless...

April 02, 2020: Another 6.65 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, the most ever recorded, as the coronavirus forces businesses to shut down nationwide, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The number of first-time applications for jobless benefits for the week ended March 28 was double the number registered in the previous week, which was revised up by 24,000 to 3.3 million -- the previous record, according to the data.

"Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus," the report said, noting a wider impact across more industries, especially hotels, but also manufacturing and retail.

The result far surpassed even the highest of estimates by economists, and reflected the growing damage to the US economy as the pandemic worsens and the growing death toll prompts more states to impose lockdowns.

In the same week of last year, only 211,000 people requested benefits for the first time.

The government last week approved a $2.2 trillion rescue package that includes a massive expansion and extension of unemployment benefits to cushion the blow for the millions of workers left without a paycheck.

The largest increases in first-time claims were in Pennsylvania (+362,012), Ohio (+189,263), Massachusetts (+141,003), Texas (+139,250) and California (+128,727).

AFP/APP

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

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