US employment growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of robust gains and wages were tepid.
Still, Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday that the U.S. economy appears strong enough to warrant significantly higher interest rates.
Wall Street’s biggest banks are sticking to bets that the Fed will raise interest rates once this year, and the increase would most likely occur in December after a tepid employment report for August quashed most talk of a move as early as this month.
Comments from Russia that they see no need to attend the OPEC producers meeting later this month as they are now happy with prices seemed to pull the rug out from under the feet of speculators.
Exports of Russian oil to China have jumped almost 42 percent to over 22 million tons from January to May; TASS reported citing statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC).
Most of China’s crude imports now come from Russia. Saudi Arabia is its second biggest supplier with 21.8 million tons. The kingdom has increased oil exports to China by 3.9 percent in the five months to May.
China’s third major crude supplier is Angola, which exported 18.5 million tons to the country.
Beijing has also ramped up oil imports from Iraq, Iran, Oman, Brazil, Kuwait, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
Global and national attitudes toward energy production and control have shifted greatly over the past two years since the Saudi decision to control market share sparked global price wars. Saudi Arabia has recently decided to completely change its economic situation by moving from oil production into investments and putting its oil stake in Aramco up for sale last May.
It’s not hard to understand that Saudi Arabia would want oil prices higher when Saudi Aramco is ready to go IPO. The higher oil prices go, the higher the value it gets.
Over the weekend Russia again made the news but now it seems that they are considering privatizing their national oil company Rosneft. Reuters reported that Russia could fetch over $11 billion in privatizing oil firm Rosneft but needs to guarantee stable tax regime ahead and during the sale, an industry source said citing documents submitted to the Russian government.
The world’s biggest energy exporter, Russia is reliant on oil and natural gas for about 40 percent of its budget revenues and battling the longest recession in two decades as crude prices remain below $50 a barrel.
The documents were submitted this week by Rosneftegas, which owns control in Rosneft on behalf of the government. Italian bank Intesa is advising Rosneftegas on the sale. The Kremlin plans to keep 50 percent plus one share after privatization. Russian economy ministry did not immediately reply for a written request seeking for a comment.
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