OPEC+ panel to meet amid oil price decline

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Updated 17 September 2020

OPEC+ panel to meet amid oil price decline

  • The output reduction target is expected to stay at 7.7 million barrels per day
  • The group has called on Iraq and others to pump below their quota in September

DUBAI: OPEC and allies, led by Russia, are scheduled to hold an online meet on Thursday to discuss compliance with their agreed output cuts and demand trends amid falling oil prices and a faltering economic recovery outlook.
A panel of key producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, is expected to keep their current output reduction target of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or around eight percent of global demand.
They will also likely press laggards such as Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates to cut more barrels to compensate for overproduction.
The meeting, known as the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), is expected to start at 1200 GMT, OPEC+ sources said.
OPEC+ producers have been reducing production since January 2017 to help support prices and reduce global oil stockpiles. They increased their cuts to a record 9.7 million bpd from May to July after demand plunged in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The group has called on Iraq and others to pump below their quota in September to compensate for overproduction between May and July.


Turkey hikes interest rate for first time since 2018

Updated 1 min 56 sec ago

Turkey hikes interest rate for first time since 2018

  • The bank said the one-week repo rate would go from 8.25 percent to 10.25 percent
  • The coronavirus pandemic has forced nations worldwide to cut rates to revive their stalled economies

ANKARA: Turkey’s central bank raised Thursday its main interest rate for the first time since September 2018, boosting it by two percentage points to haul the lira up from historic lows.
The bank said the one-week repo rate would go from 8.25 percent to 10.25 percent.
The lira gained around one percent in value against the US dollar within minutes of the announcement, after touching a record low of 7.71 earlier in the day.
“Massive surprise, and positive,” said Timothy Ash, an analyst at BlueBay Asset Management.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced nations worldwide to cut rates to revive their stalled economies.
But Turkey has been burning through its hard currency reserves to support the lira, which has lost nearly 22 percent of its value against the dollar this year and is one of the world’s worst performing emerging market currencies.
The Moody’s ratings agency estimated on Monday that Turkey’s hard currency reserves were now at a 20-year low.
A central bank statement said it “decided to increase the policy rate by 200 basis points to restore the disinflation process and support price stability.”
Inflation edged up to 11.77 percent in August from 11.76 percent in July but it has remained stubbornly in the double digits in the past few years.
This means that Turkey is running a negative real interest rate, where bank deposits and bonds lose value over time, forcing investors out of the market and Turkish nationals to convert their liras into dollars or euros.
The bank last increased its main rate in September 2018 from 17.75 percent to 24 percent owing to a currency crisis caused by tense relations with the United States.
But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposes high rates, once describing them as “the mother and father of all evil,” and called for them to be lowered to stimulate growth.
Erdogan last year sacked the bank’s governor and appointed Murat Uysal, under whose direction the rate has been cut nine times.
Ash said the rate decision “suggests the (bank) listened to the market and decided they had to move to avoid a disorderly devaluation and potential balance of payments crisis.”
“They are not out of the woods yet, but they have given themselves a fighting chance.”