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Global investment in coal tumbles by 75% in three years, as lenders lose appetite for fossil fuel

Since it powered us into the industrial revolution, coal-fired energy has become the single biggest driver of man-made climate change and its use across the world is still increasing. But while dependence on coal remains high, with coal-fired power plants currently fuelling around 38 per cent of global electricity, a new report indicates the demise of coal is already well underway. The International Energy Agency’s new world investment report released this week, reveals the companies funding coal-fired power stations appear to be making significant recalculations about the long-term viability of ...

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U.S. farmers receive $8.52 billion in aid to date, USDA says

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has to date paid out $8.52 billion in direct payments to American farmers as part of the 2018 aid program, designed to offset losses from trade tariffs by China and other trading partners, a spokesman for the agency said. U.S. President Donald Trump last year pledged up to $12 billion in aid to farmers, a key constituency, to help offset losses due to Chinese tariffs imposed in response to Washington’s levies on Chinese goods. A USDA spokesperson said the department had as of Wednesday paid ...

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African swine flu impact spreads over Chinese economy, global commodity prices

Bacon could soon be off the fried breakfast menu. African swine flu is sweeping across South East Asia and threatening to spread even further after decimating some pig farmers in China, which consumes more pork than any other country. The virulent disease is now creating a domino effect for commodities markets, farmers and consumers. HSBC’s closely watched aggregated commodity price index of 20 key resources gained 2% last month, with the cost of pork showing the biggest increase. Pork prices tracked by the bank’s commodities research unit gained by almost ...

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Corn climbs to near four-month top on U.S. planting delays

Chicago corn rose to its highest since late January on Friday, with the market set for its biggest weekly rally in four years as concerns over U.S. planting delays buoy the market. Wheat jumped to its highest since early April on short-covering, while soybeans were little changed, weighed down by U.S.-China trade tensions. The most-active corn contract on the Chicago Board of Trade has climbed 8.5% this week, the biggest weekly gain since July 2015. Corn hit a high of $3.82-1/4 a bushel on Friday – the highest since Jan. ...

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Oil Set for Weekly Gain as OPEC+ Gathers Amid Gulf Tensions

Brent oil headed for its biggest weekly gain since mid-February as OPEC and its allies gather this weekend to consider output policy and political tensions in the Persian Gulf escalate. Futures have added 3.5% in London this week. Saudi Arabia, Russia and other major producers in the OPEC+ coalition will assemble in Jeddah over the next few days, while U.S. sanctions squeeze exports from fellow member Iran. Regional friction is growing, as the Saudis said two oil tankers were targeted and accused Iran of ordering a drone attack on their ...

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Risks are rising for an oil price spike as tensions between the U.S. and Iran increase

If not for the trade war, both oil and gasoline prices could be much higher than they are now on rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Analysts say oil could be more than 10% higher, but if there is a resolution of trade issues, and the situation in the Middle East intensifies, there are risks of price spikes that take oil to as high as $100 a barrel this summer. “If you do get a trade war resolution, a better economy coupled with Iran sanctions, that’s a recipe for ...

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Latin America’s gasoline problems: Mexico and Brazil diverge in fuel balance strategy

The two dominant players in Latin American oil and gas – Petrobras and Pemex – should face negative net gasoline balance for decades to come. This makes the two NOCs the most important Latin American importers of US gasoline, granted that Brazil’s deficit is mitigated by its strong biofuels market. Their corporate strategies, however, are completely different. With the election of President Bolsonaro, Brazil’s Petrobras is embarking on a neoliberal push in the downstream segment. The company plans to sell half of its refineries, opening up the Brazilian market to ...

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U.S. coasts face tight gasoline supplies ahead of summer driving season

Tight gasoline supplies on the U.S. East and West Coasts have left both regions vulnerable to potential price spikes at the pump ahead of the peak summer driving season. Supplies on both coasts are at seasonal five-year lows just days ahead of the May 27 Memorial Day holiday weekend starts, the unofficial beginning of summer. The West Coast’s supplies tightened earlier this year due to a combination of refining maintenance, unexpected outages and a falloff in ethanol supplies needed to blend into the gasoline pool due to flooding in the ...

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Analysis: Policy vacuum ahead of polls clouds India’s oil demand growth

India’s oil demand growth has slowed to a trickle on the back of sluggish sale of transport fuels, as consumers defer vehicle purchases until clarity on new taxes and policies emerges when a new government is in place after the federal elections. While April oil demand numbers showed oil demand growth of below 1% year on year, analysts are of the view that demand from May onwards would be relatively stronger than the previous month because of a rise in demand for commercial transportation for election-related travel. “India’s total product ...

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Global Stocks Dip as Trade Hopes Falter

Global stocks skidded on Friday, ending a recent rally after comments from Chinese officials suggested an uncertain course ahead for trade talks with the U.S. In Europe, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.6% in midday trading, putting it on course to cap a three-session run of gains. London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4%, less than its counterparts in Frankfurt and Paris, as stocks were supported by a weaker British pound, which has fallen against the dollar all week amid growing Brexit uncertainty. The British currency and the country’s blue-chip index ...

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Will a falling yuan ‘torpedo’ China’s trade talks with the US?

The value of China’s yuan dropped to a four-month low against the US dollar this week after the latest flare-up in US-China trade tensions as a promise by Beijing that it will not use depreciation as a tool to fight the trade war did little to allay investor concerns. The Chinese currency’s 2 per cent decline over the last two days to around 6.90 has pared much of this year’s gain on a strengthening view that Beijing might let the exchange rate weaken as part of its retaliation to mitigate ...

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China says always wants to resolve disputes through talks

China’s foreign ministry said on Friday Beijing has always wanted to resolve all disputes through talks amid an escalating trade conflict with the United States. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the remarks at a daily briefing. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; writing by Se Young Lee; editing by Darren Schuettler)

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Who Pays the Trump Tariffs? We Do, These Americans Say

Escalating tariffs between the U.S. and China have fueled an acrimonious debate over who’s paying. President Trump says China; his critics say Americans. The answer isn’t straightforward because, as with any tax, the person paying the tariff doesn’t necessarily bear its burden. If the tariff is simply passed along to the importer, American businesses or consumers bear the burden. If Chinese exporters cut prices to avoid losing sales, they bear the burden. If imports shift to another country, no one pays the tariff — but Chinese are burdened by lost ...

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Eurogroup head confident of deal on euro zone budget in June

Euro zone finance ministers have yet to agree on the ways of financing a future euro zone budget, their chairman Mario Centeno said on Thursday, but expressed confidence a deal would emerge at their next meeting in June. “A few issues are still open, but I am confident we will find common ground in June,” Centeno told a news conference. Source: Reuters (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)

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What Will Trump’s Latest Tariffs Mean for Inflation? Not Too Much, Economists Say

The Trump administration’s latest tariff increases on Chinese imports will likely deliver a modest and temporary boost to U.S. inflation, in part reflecting the relatively small portion of American spending that goes to goods rather than services. President Trump’s decision last week to raise tariffs on roughly $200 billion of goods, to 25% from 10%, represents the single biggest escalation of his yearlong confrontation with China. The new duties could amount to as much as $30 billion of annual revenues for the government — and additional costs for U.S. consumers. ...

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