Oil prices rise to 2019 high as Libya civil war threatens supply – business live

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Fears of a slowdown in global demand have eased after stronger US jobs data

12.26pm BST

It’s mostly quiet on the markets front halfway through the trading day in London.

Shares in housebuilder Redrow are the biggest riser on the FTSE 350, up by 7% after it confirmed the previously announced return of £111m to shareholders via a share issue and buyback. Pharma company Indivior rose by 5% after it announced new data on an opioid addiction treatment.

12.08pm BST

New laws proposed to tackle social media companies streaming child abuse, extremism, terrorist attacks and cyberbullying have been welcomed by senior police and children’s charities.

Launched on Monday, the Online Harms white paper outlines what the government says are tough new laws for internet companies and the ability to enforce them, write Sandra Laville and Alex Hern.

Related: Social media firms to be penalised for not removing child abuse

12.00pm BST

London’s ultra-low emission zone came into force when Big Ben tolled midnight last night, meaning that drivers of more polluting vehicles in the centre of the capital will have to pay £12.50 a day.

The charge, brought in on top of the separate congestion charge by mayor Sadiq Khan to combat air pollution, rises to £100 for buses, coaches and lorries. It will apply to traffic within the red ring in the map below.

Related: Heart charity urges other cities to follow London’s ultra-low emission zone

11.17am BST

Lower sales and a premature Brexit shutdown at Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s biggest carmaker (albeit one owned by India’s Tata Motors).

JLR’s four main UK manufacturing sites – at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and Halewood in Merseyside – which employ 18,500 people, are closed from Monday until Friday.

Related: Jaguar Land Rover begins Brexit shutdown as sales fall

11.12am BST

Brexit-watchers are not the only people waiting for white smoke today: Debenhams shareholders will find out by 5pm whether retail impresario Mike Ashley has any hope of securing a takeover.

10.47am BST

Will we get some movement on Brexit today? Possibly, as talks between Labour and the Conservatives continue.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning hinted that the government would be open to a customs union compromsie, saying there would be no point having talks with Labour if the government was constrained by “big red lines”.

Well, we don’t have a majority in parliament, and so we have to look to other parties to seek agreement that will allow us to get Brexit over the line in parliament as the law requires. You can’t go into any of those discussions with big red lines because otherwise there’s no point in having them, but we are very clear about the type of Brexit that we want. That’s in our manifesto, and we’ve made that clear.

Related: Brexit: Hunt hints government open to customs union compromise, saying ‘red lines’ should no longer apply – live news

If she stays put for another few months, she could outrun up to three more of her predecessors. pic.twitter.com/egB7zzwUH7

10.39am BST

A London jury has been dismissed in a landmark fraud trial of four former Barclays executives accused of paying Qatar undisclosed fees to help rescue the bank at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.

Judge Robert Jay told the jury at Southwark Crown Court on Monday he was required to discharge them.

10.32am BST

Halfway through the trading morning in London in a truly momentous week for the future of the British economy, and currency markets…

… are barely moving. Sterling is down by 0.05% against the euro at €1.1612. Against the US dollar it is much the same story: a pound will buy you $1.3048.

10.15am BST

The activist investor targeting a board seat at Barclays has written another letter to shareholders in an attempt to gain support.

9.44am BST

Eurozone investor confidence has improved thanks to positive signs from China, according to the widely followed survey by Sentix.

The headline Sentix measure rose to -0.3 points for April, the highest since November, after a reading of -2.2 points in the previous month.

Economic observers are currently focusing their attention strongly on China. The signs in China are increasingly pointing to an upswing. Should there be an additional settlement in the trade dispute with the USA, the second economically robust region of the world economy, the European economy could also see a turnaround.

9.33am BST

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, this morning suggested that further production cuts may not be necessary, given the increase in prices.

9.21am BST

Let’s take another look at the oil market, with Brent crude prices at their highest point of the year so far.

Futures prices have risen from just over $50 per barrel before Christmas to almost $71 on Monday.

Related: Battle for Tripoli escalates as fighting nears Libyan capital

9.02am BST

Centrica is leading the FTSE 100 after reports of a potential buyer for its UK nuclear power reactors.

Shares rose by 0.6% after the Telegraph reported that Greencoat Capital is in talks to launch a fund to target a £4bn sell-off of a minority stake in seven reactors from EDF Energy and Centrica.

8.42am BST

Carlos Ghosn’s final exit from Nissan, the Japanese carmaker which he was widely credited with reviving, has been completed, with his removal from the board.

Related: Nissan shareholders sack Carlos Ghosn from company board

8.21am BST

Exports and imports from Germany both fell more than expected in February, according to trade data published today, adding to signs of economic weakness in Europe’s largest economy.

Exports decreased by 1.3% in February, Germany’s Federal Statistical Office reported, lower than the 0.5% fall predicted by economists. Imports fell by 1.6%, after rising by 1.4% the month before.

The export sector had been on a rollercoaster ride through all of 2018, with problems in emerging markets, trade tensions between the US and China, US protectionism, a possible cooling of the Chinese economy and increasing fears of a hard Brexit. There simply seem to be too many crises in global trade for the German export sector to defy all of them at the same time.

Recent real-time indicators suggest a rebound in global trade since the start of the year and relief in the trade tensions between the US and China should also benefit German exports.

8.07am BST

The FTSE 100 has started the day with barely a murmur.

London’s blue-chip index is down by 0.05%.

8.03am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

The start of 2019 was marked by fears that a long-expected slowdown in the global economy would finally come around, weighing on oil demand. However, supply constraints have sustained prices, with futures for the Brent crude benchmark back above $70 per barrel at the start of the week.

The upside risks in crude oil prices […] are being realised.

Let me explain what’s happening with Brexit.pic.twitter.com/gjGkvFk8fT

This week is likely to be overshadowed by events relating to Brexit. Another short extension has been requested by the UK, but the EU may prefer a longer delay while setting strict conditions and requiring participation in the EU parliament elections.

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