China’s weakening manufacturing cause global stocks to fall
OPEC and allied oil producers including Russia will be deciding on Mar. 31 how much crude to pump to the world.
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oil and gas
Global markets sank on Mar. 31 after Chinese manufacturing weakened and Russian shelling around Ukraine’s capital shook hopes for progress in peace talks.
London, Shanghai, Paris and Tokyo declined while Frankfurt opened higher.
Oil fell almost $5 per barrel in New York but stayed above $100 following reports President Joe Biden would release U.S. reserves to cool surging prices amid anxiety about possible disruption to Russian supplies.
OPEC and allied oil producers including Russia will be deciding on Mar. 31 how much crude to pump to the world. Analysts expect the group, known as OPEC+, to stay on its schedule of gradual increases to restore production cuts made during the depths of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Russian forces were shelling areas near Kyiv and another city after Moscow said it would scale back operations there to promote trust. Virtual talks on trying to end the five-week-old war are expected on Apr. 1.
Russia is “pouring cold water on headlines of constructive cease-fire talks,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a report.
In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 lost less than 0.1% to 7,575.04 while Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.1% to 7,578.75. The CAC 40 in Paris shed less than 0.1% to 6,743.19.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was 0.2% higher a day after falling on weaker-than-forecast U.S. economic growth. The future for the Dow industrials was virtually unchanged.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 3,252.20 after an index of Chinese manufacturing activit y fell to a five-month low following the shutdown of much of Shanghai and two smaller industrial cities to fight coronavirus outbreaks.
Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, fell $4.21 to $107.23 per barrel in London.
Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from U.S. reserves, according to two people familiar with the decision. That would come near to closing the U.S. production gap compared with February 2020 before the coronavirus caused a steep decline.
However, that supply is “simply not enough to offset Russian losses,” Francesco Pesole and Frantisek Taborsky of ING said in a report. “It does not seem likely that U.S. reserves will be able to drive oil prices structurally lower.”