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...CRUDE OIL There is considerable uncertainty around the outlook of the implementation of the OPEC agreement, which, if carried through, will undoubtedly impact oil markets. A modest recovery is projected for most commodities in 2017, as demand strengthens and supplies tighten. OPEC’s ability to affect oil prices is likely to be tested by the expansion of oil supply from unconventional sources, including shale producers. In particular, there are concerns that Opec members may not stick to their commitments, that demand will underwhelm – or, more pressingly, that rising prices will trigger a surge in production in the US. However, there is now a sense that the market is returning closer to balance, helped by American Petroleum Institute (API) data last night estimating US crude stockpiles dropped by more than four million barrels last week. ...TOI on Dec. 30, 2016, 11:44 a.m.
...The rally added to what’s already been a stellar 2016 for bullion, with prices up 25 per cent after three years of losses. Hedge funds have boosted their bets on gains in the metal to an all-time high. And if there are any further market shakeups, gold will continue to be a hedge investment for anyone looking to get out of the dollar, and out of equities. Jewellery demand in China and India, the world’s biggest consumers of the precious metal, has been lacklustre this year. Offsetting that has been increased demand from gold-backed exchange traded funds this year, which have seen inflows rise more than 30 per cent to 53.3m ounces — their highest level since 2013. The Federal Reserve has also become more cautious on further interest rate increases. Before the UK’s vote on Thursday, central bankers had been sounding the alarm that an exit from the EU could be disruptive to the global economy. ...TOI on July 2, 2016, 3:59 p.m.