Oil Prices Subdued As OPEC Meeting Looms

U.S. Pending Home Sales Decrease For Fifth Straight Month In October

Pending home sales in the U.S. decreased for the fifth consecutive month in October, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday.

NAR said its pending home sales index tumbled by 4.6 percent to 77.1 in October after plunging by 8.7 percent to a revised reading of 80.8 in September.

Economists had expected pending home sales to slump by 5.2 percent compared to the 10.2 percent nosedive originally reported for the previous month.

Compared to the same month a year ago, NAR said pending home sales in October were down by 37.0 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

“October was a difficult month for home buyers as they faced 20-year-high mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The West region, in particular, suffered from the combination of high interest rates and expensive home prices.”

He added, “The upcoming months should see a return of buyers, as mortgage rates appear to have already peaked and have been coming down since mid-November.”

The report showed pending home sales in the West plummeted by 11.3 percent, while pending sales in the South and Northeast tumbled by 6.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

“Only the Midwest squeaked out a gain,” Yun said, with pending home sales in the region jumping by 3.3 percent.

Auction Technology FY22 Adj. Profit Rises; Revenue Up 11% On Proforma Basis

Auction Technology Group plc (ATG.L) reported that its fiscal 2022 adjusted earnings per share increased to 29.5 pence from 9.2 pence. Adjusted EBITDA was 54.0 million pounds, up 70% year-on-year.

Profit before tax was 9.3 million pounds compared to a loss of 25.0 million pounds, last year, largely driven by the increase in revenue and due to the one-off impact of costs relating to the IPO and acquisitions incurred last year. Loss per share was 5.1 pence compared to a loss of 31.0 pence.

For the year ended 30 September 2022, revenue was 119.8 million pounds, up 11% on a proforma basis driven by resilient growth in Gross Merchandise Value with an additional boost to growth coming through value-add services. Revenue was up 71% on a reported basis includes contribution from LiveAuctioneers and foreign exchange benefit due to high proportion of US dollar revenue.

No?dividends have been paid or proposed for fiscal 2022 or fiscal 2021.

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Creightons H1 EBITDA Excl. Exceptional Declines – Quick Facts

Creightons plc (CRL.L) reported a loss before tax of 0.4 million pounds for the six months ended 30 September 2022 compared to profit of 2.27 million pounds, last year. Loss per share was 0.48 pence compared to profit of 2.61 pence.

EBITDA excluding exceptional for the first half period was 1.1 million pounds compared to 3.35 million pounds. The operating profit before exceptional costs was 0.3 million pounds compared to 2.6 million pounds.

Sales for the first half was 30 million pounds, flat with prior year.

The Board did not propose an interim dividend.

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Triad Group Slips To Loss In H1 With Weak Revenues; Maintains Dividend

IT service management company Triad Group Plc (TRD.L) reported Thursday that its first-half loss before tax was 0.41 million pounds, compared to last year’s profit of 0.67 million pounds.

Basic loss per share were 2.48 pence, compared to profit of 5.24 pence a year ago.

Revenue declined to 7.12 million pounds from 8.58 million pounds a year ago.

Further, the company said its interim dividend will be maintained at the same level as last year at 2 pence.

Regarding the outlook, the company said its vital signs, including cash, margins and control of overheads, continue to be extremely robust.

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US Covid Cases And Casualties Rising Again

After a recent lull, U.S. Covid cases and casualties are rising again.

4 percent fall in Covid-related casualties has been reported in the United States in the last two weeks, according to the New York Times.

New cases of coronavirus infections have increased by seven percent in the same period.

The United States on Wednesday reported 111386 new cases of coronavirus infections.

With this, the total cases in the country reached 98,261,431, as per Johns Hopkins University’s latest data.

1093 Covid deaths on Wednesday took the total number of people losing their lives due to the disease to 1,078,929.

4 percent fall in Covid-related casualties has been reported in the last two weeks, according to the New York Times.

U.S. hospitals reported a 1 percent increase in the number of Covid patients in the last two weeks. The number of I.C.U. admissions due to the worse stage of the viral disease increased by 8 percent.

28,231 people are hospitalized due to Covid. 3,449 of these patients are admitted in intensive care units.

The nation’s test positivity rate has increased to 8.6 percent.

A total of 97,881,464 people in the U.S. have recovered from the killer disease so far, Worldometers data shows.

2307 additional deaths were reported globally on Wednesday, taking the total number of people who lost their lives due to the pandemic so far to 6,626,182.

Oil Prices Subdued As OPEC Meeting Looms

Oil prices were flat to slightly lower on Thursday amid uncertainty about OPEC’s decision on production at the Sunday meeting.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were marginally lower at $86.94 a barrel, while WTI crude futures were down 0.3 percent at $80.31.

Crude prices climbed about 3 percent on Wednesday after data showed a steep drop in crude inventories in the U.S. in the week ended November 25th.

Data released by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by nearly 13 million barrels last week, the biggest weekly decline since the week ended June 21, 2019.

There’s a lot of uncertainty over the outcome of this weekend’s OPEC meeting but losses are being limited by expectations of increased demand from China and a weaker dollar.

Markets initially braced for additional OPEC quota cuts ahead of EU sanctions and due to increasing economic uncertainty fueled by rising interest rates.

However, OPEC and its allies are now expected to hold production steady after the group shifted its meeting online amid an uncertain market outlook.