But this morning, near-term futures WTI and Brent crude contracts are at nearly $115 a barrel – a sign of how the market has been affected by the pandemic and war in Ukraine ahead of the busy summer driving season.
“This is an important development in my opinion,” Jeffrey Haley, chief market analyst at Oanda, told clients on Tuesday.
Energy prices are also on the rise as China indicates it intends to ease some restrictions on movement in the coming weeks, which could lead to increased demand for fuel after a period of lull.
On Monday, Shanghai officials announced a three-phase plan to “return to normal life” by mid-June, and on Tuesday said the spread of the Covid-19 virus outside quarantine areas had been eradicated, an important turning point.
Aviation within China has increased from 25% at the beginning of this month to 40%, Janiv Shah, an analyst at Rystad Energy, told me.
It all comes before summer in the US and Europe, when fuel demand jumps as people jump in their cars and head out on road trips and other vacations.
A new wrinkle: That oil prices are going up in a tight market where supply can’t keep up is not surprising. but that he is It is unusual for WTI and Brent crude to trade close to each other.
The problem, Shah said, is Europe’s shift away from Russian Urals crude, which has led to a mad rush to find alternative barrels in other parts of the market.
“We are seeing a shortage of these Russian ores in the European refining system,” Shah said. “What has been done is to increase the value of all remaining scores.”
At the same time, US refiners are trying to ramp up activity to meet demand, which is also pressing WTI higher.
Conclusion: Western oil traders have fewer options than they used to, as they worry about conflicting with sanctions against Moscow and dealing with difficult logistics in the Black Sea. This means that they buy everything they can get – which in turn distorts the market.
One caveat: If you look at WTI and Brent crude for July delivery, US oil is still trading at a discount of over $2 a barrel, despite the margin having shrunk dramatically. Since May.
“There is no refining capacity that matches current demand and summer demand expectations,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said at an energy conference.
Musk says Twitter deal is stuck on bot questions
“Based my presentation on the accuracy of the SEC filings on Twitter,” Musk said. “Yesterday, the CEO of Twitter publicly declined to show proof of <5%. Can't move forward with this deal until he does."
A step back: Musk’s latest tweet casts doubt on the fate of the $44 billion deal. Musk announced on Friday that he is “temporarily suspended” but “remains committed to the acquisition.”
This pivot has fueled speculation that the world’s richest man may be using the bot debate to secure a better price for Twitter, either as a bargaining tactic or out of necessity.
Twitter shares fell nearly 2% in pre-market trading on Tuesday. The stock erased all of its gains in the weeks since Musk announced his stake in the company and is now trading at $36.80 a share — well below Musk’s offer price of $54.20 a share.
Unconventional tactics: On Monday, he exchanged a series of tweets with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal about the spam account problem.
Agrawal wrote that Twitter suspends “more than half a million spam accounts every day.” He also reiterated the 5% statistic, saying the estimate was based on “multiple human reviews of ‘thousands of accounts’ that were randomly sampled.”
The company previously acknowledged that while it believes its estimates are “reasonable,” the measurements have not been independently verified and the actual number of fake accounts or spam could be higher.
Musk responded to Agrawal’s initial tweets with a poo emoji.
Why India’s wheat export ban stunned investors
A month ago, as Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed the world to the brink of a food crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered to help countries facing shortages.
“We already have enough food for our people, but it looks like our farmers have made arrangements to feed the world,” Modi said in April. “We are ready to send relief from tomorrow itself.”
The move shocked international markets on Monday. Global wheat prices rose 6%, with futures trading in Chicago at $12.40 a bushel, the highest price in two months. Tuesday’s wheat futures eased slightly, but are still nearly 50% higher since the war began.
While India is a huge producer of wheat – as of this year, the country is expected to produce more than 100 million metric tons – most of the grain is used to feed its 1.3 billion people. By the government’s own admission, the country is “not among the top 10 exporters of wheat”.
But the warning triggered by the export ban underscores the fragility of the global food supply and the extent to which agricultural traders remain nervous. Protectionism from countries like India only exacerbates those fears.
- US retail sales for April arrive at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect it to grow 0.8% month over month, with a slight rise.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a Wall Street Journal event at 2 p.m. ET.