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Trump and curbs supply ignore by Opec gives hope to rising Oil price

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Oil rose for a second day on Wednesday, buoyed by an unexpected decline in US crude inventories and after Saudi Arabia appeared undaunted by pressure from US President Donald Trump on oil cartel Opec to prevent steeper price rises.



Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Opec and its partners were “taking it easy” in response to a tweet from Trump on Monday that called on the group to slacken its restrictions on crude production.

“We are taking it easy. The 25 countries are taking a very slow and measured approach. Just as the second half of last year proved, we are interested in market stability first and foremost,” Falih said in Riyadh when asked to comment on Trump’s tweet, CNBC reported.

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The oil price has risen by almost a quarter so far this year, after Opec, together with other producers such as Russia and Oman, agreed to cut output to avoid the build-up of a global surplus, particularly as US output has boomed.

Brent crude futures were up 67c on the day at $65.88 a barrel at 10.15am GMT, while US futures were up 75c at $56.25 a barrel.

“Trump tweeted and Opec replied. It was not the message he wanted to hear so the story is not over yet,” PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said.

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Based on current market data, the so-called Opec-plus group is “likely to continue with the production cuts until the end of the year”, a Gulf Opec source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Russian energy minister Alexander Novak also said this week that the oil market was more or less stable and price volatility, which is unwelcome to both producers and consumers, was low.

Also underpinning the oil market on Wednesday was a surprise drop in US crude inventories, which fell by 4.2-million barrels in the latest week, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). This compared with forecasts in a Reuters survey for a rise of 2.8-million barrels.

Official data will be released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) after 6pm GMT on Wednesday.

Said Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures, “Crude oil futures bounced as Opec members remained firm on planned production cuts despite heightened political pressure from Trump early this week.”

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-Reuters

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Apple unveils new iPhone 11 with a triple-camera

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Apple Inc (AAPL.O) caught up with hardware rivals on Tuesday by revealing a triple-camera iPhone, and it rolled out a streaming TV service priced at $5 a month, undercutting Disney and Netflix.

The announcements came at the company’s biggest marketing event, where it unveils its top products for the year ahead, and showcased an aggressive Apple ready to battle on price.

The long-awaited Apple TV+ streaming television service will be available in over 100 countries, starting in November. The service will not be available in China when it launches, nor will the Apple Arcade video game subscription.

Buyers of an iPhone, iPad or Mac will get a free year of streaming TV, potentially drawing hundreds of millions of viewers to the service. That catapults the new service into a rarified group of companies.

“I think the pricing on the Apple TV service was definitely a positive surprise,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “That’s why you’re seeing the hammering in some of the other video service-related names like Netflix, Amazon and Roku. Clearly, that was a positive that people were happy to hear.”

There was no bundle with Apple Music or other services as some analysts had expected. But Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said the TV service, a $5 a month “Arcade” gaming service and the base model iPhone 11, seem designed to draw in users for the longer term.

“We weren’t expecting Apple Arcade and particularly Apple TV to be priced as aggressively as they were,” Bajarin said. “They know once consumers get into their ecosystem, they don’t leave.”

Apple said its new iPhone 11 will come with two back cameras, including an ultra wide-angle lens and the next generation of microchips, the A13. Prices start at $699, down from last year’s new iPhone that started at $749.

The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro will have three cameras on the back – wide angle, telephoto and ultra-wide. It can create videos with all three back cameras and the front camera at the same time and starts at $999. The iPhone 11 Pro Max with a bigger screen starts at $1,099. The new phones are available to order Friday and will start shipping Sept. 20.

Rivals including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) already sell phones with three cameras on the back. While Apple once tested the upper limits of what consumers would pay for a phone, it is now giving ground on prices, even making older models available at significant discounts to the latest technology.

“Consumers absolutely still care about cameras. That’s why it was surprising over the last couple of years that Samsung and Huawei got the jump on Apple,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “Apple was playing a bit of catch up, but Apple did bring their game, particularly on the video side of the camera, where I do think they’ll have the leg up.”

Analysts expect Apple will sell around 200 million iPhones in the next year, in addition to other devices, and while many of those will be in China, it ensures at least tens of millions of potential viewers for the subscription service.

Hal Eddins, chief economist for Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel, said Apple’s lower priced iPhones “aren’t exciting on the surface, but the low streaming price may suck in some new subscribers.” Apple shares gained 0.8%.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Oando has announced the discovery of Gas in Niger Delta

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Oando plc through its molecule subsidiary oando energy resources (OER) on wednesday said it has made a correlation gas and quantum discovery in its fields in the Niger delta

A disclosure sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange said the project is a joint venture arrangement among the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Details showed that the NNPC owns 60 per cent stake in the project, while Oando and NAOC, the operator controls 20 percent each.

The discoveries were made in the deeper sequences of the Obiafu-Obrikom fields, in OML61, onshore Niger Delta, the oil firm said.

The Obiafu-41 Deep appraisal/exploration well has reached a total depth of 4.374m encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high quality hydrocarbonbearing sands, it said.

The company added that the find amounts to about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate in the deep drilled sequences.

The discovery is part of a drilling campaign planned by the Joint Venture aimed at exploring near-field and deep pool opportunities as immediate time to market opportunities.

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