The gold buying demand from China is surging from last December onwards owing investors' priority to safe haven assets. The sluggish stock markets, weaker currency and lower global prices are prime reasons for the rising demand for the yellow metal. The consumption rose 3.7 percent to 985.9 metric tons in 2015.
The lower oil price for about 19 months is benefiting the consumers, but creating a lot of problems for the global governments and business firms. Many banks and the US government forecast oil price above $40 a barrel this year. The oil price fell to below $30 during the past 19 months from $107 a barrel.
Russia says there's proposal from OPEC on production cuts and it's open to have a word on oil production cuts. Russia is a non-OPEC oil producing nation. Russian oil minister said that the proposal envisages five percent cut in the oil production to support falling oil price. However, there's no clarity over the proposal whether it was from OPEC or non-OPEC members.
Gold soared to three-month high early this week as investors switched over to safe have following the concerns about the global economy. The US Federal Reserve indicated a challenging global economy and this may not prevent it from raising interest rate. Gold price reached to $1,127.80 on 27 January and this propelled investors to book profits.
Oracle has disclosed its expansion program in the Middle East for 2016 which involves setting up a data center and new offices in Abu Dhabi and internet cities in Amman and Riyadh. It also plans to increase its workforce to offer better service for the customers across the Middle East and Africa. The vibrant nature of the cloud market in the Middle East region and the ever growing cloud business therein has led the Californian tech giant to approach with larger investments.
Aramco is the largest known oil producer in the world with a daily production of 10.25 MMbpd. KSA authority has increased feedstock prices to narrow down its budgetary deficits and also increases daily production rate to cope with the soaring demands. Now it is in efforts for Aramco’s listing for IPOs. If listed, Aramco will be the world’s first corporate entity with asset value of more than $1 trillion.
Feeling the heat of competition in the global payments industry, American Express (AmEx) is in the process of reducing costs by $1billion by end of 2017. AmEx posted losses for the fourth quarter consecutively. The net income dropped from $1.44 billion to $873 million or 80 cents per share for the quarter. The forecast for this year disappointed investors and analysts.
The new regulation is being established initiated by the San Bernardino shooting in California that killed 14 people and left 22 wounded. It has drawn many concern and dismay among European citizens, especially those with the dual nationalities as mentioned. Europe could also reciprocate, restricting American with the same duality to enter Europe.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations are buying thousands of acres in the US. Recently, Fondomonte California has purchased 1,790 acres of farmland in California. Almarai bought 10,000 acres of farmland in Arizona two years back. These companies have cultivating alfalfa hay and exporting back it to feed dairy herds. Local farmers in California and Arizona are expressing concerns over drop in groundwater table.
Saudi Arabia has ruled out allegations that Iran has been targeted in the oil price war. Saudi Arabian foreign minister said that it's demand-supply situation that determines price in the global oil market. The low price is also hitting US shale oil, which involves high cost of production.
The Indian currency Rupee against the US dollar rose to highest since November 2015 on increasing outflows from Indian stocks and bonds. The Chinese markets were witnessing selloff and this also resulted in further withdrawal by foreign investors in Indian markets. The net outflow from Indian markets in January so far was at $686.2 million putting more pressure on currency reserves.
Saudi Arabia oil minister Ali al-Naimi said that stability in the oil market will be attained only through the cooperation amid major manufacturers and this would take time. Ali al-Naimi added that although the worldwide oil market has been experiencing an instability for over 12 months, he is hopeful regarding the return and future of the oil market.
With the lifting of international sanctions from Tehran, India would be able to recommence its unobstructed oil import from the Persian Gulf country. Iran is anticipated to boost its oil export of 1.1 million barrels per day by 500,000, according to the Indian Oil Cooperation.
The United Nations (UN) has received funding of $250million and needs additional $500 million for education programs for over one million Syrian children. Gordon Brown, the former UK Prime Minister and UN envoy for global education, is committed to mobilize money in next month. Brown has decided to raise money from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos and other international conferences.
State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (ARAMCO) is possibly going for an IPO aiming to raise funds for $1 trillion to $10 trillion. Some shares of the IPO may be awarded among the local banks and investors following ARAMCO’s action plan. However, experience in banking operations in the kingdom is believed to play the key role for selection which put HSBC and JPMorgan well ahead in the IPO grabbing race.
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