Opec losing the Latin beat

Don’t be surprised to find an idle Spanish language interpreter or two along Vienna’s Helferstorferstrasse this week, as Latin America’s sole Opec members are preoccupied with their rocky home fronts. Venezuela and Ecuador appear content to let Opec´s heavyweights plus Russia hammer out the terms of the likely extension of a deal to restrict output. Their effective withdrawal means the region has less of a voice at the negotiating table, matching their loss of relevance in the market. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia in uncharted waters

Saudi economic officials have issued a slew of statements aimed at reassuring investors — particularly from abroad — following the unveiling of King Salman bin Abdel-Aziz’s anti-corruption committee — headed by his son, crown prince Mohammad bin Salman — and the near simultaneous arrest of 11 princes, tens of past and present ministers, and senior officials and businessmen for investigation by the committee.

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Is complacency priced in?

There is a very strong possibility that tomorrow the basket price of Opec crude will start with a six for the first time since late June 2015. Ice Brent front-month futures have been sixed-up for a few days now.

Quite the fillip ahead of the group’s meeting at the end of this month, when the key – perhaps the only – point of discussion will be how to keep a good thing going.

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