Crude Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower
Crude oil prices fell sharply on Friday amid concerns about the outlook for fuel demand, with investors weighing the prospects of a recession.
The dollar’s surge after data showed stronger than expected jobs growth in the month of December also weighed on oil prices.
The dollar index climbed to 102.90, gaining more than 1.1%.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $2.49 or about 3.3% at $73.39 a barrel.
Brent crude futures dropped $2.37 or about 2.9% to $79.80 a barrel.
Both WTI crude futures and Brent Crude futures lost more than 7% for the week.
The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report said non-farm payroll employment soared by 517,000 jobs in January after surging by an upwardly revised 260,000 jobs in December.
The report also said the unemployment rate edged down to 3.4% in January from 3.5% in December. The dip surprised economists, who had expected the unemployment rate to inch up to 3.6%.
A report from Baker Hughes said the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined for the third successive week, falling by 10 to 599 this week.
The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, fell by 12 to 759, according to the report.
Ratings agency Fitch Solutions has reiterated its Brent crude price forecast for this year at $95 per barrel, citing China’s earlier-than-expected easing of COVID-19 containment measures and continued production restraint by OPEC+.
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By Ross Douthat
European Economics Preview: Germany GDP Data Due
Quarterly national accounts from Germany and economic sentiment survey results from euro area are the top economic news due on Monday.
At 2.00 am ET, quarterly GDP data is due from Sweden. GDP is forecast to grow at a slower pace of 1.2 percent annually in the fourth quarter after rising 2.5 percent in the third quarter.
At 3.00 am ET, Spain’s statistical office INE is scheduled to issue flash consumer prices and retail sales figures. EU harmonized inflation is forecast to ease to 4.7 percent in January from 5.5 percent in December.
Also, Swiss KOF leading index is due. The indicator is expected to rise to 93.3 in January from 92.2 in December.
At 4.00 am ET, Destatis is slated to release Germany’s GDP data. Economists expect the economy to remain flat on a quarterly basis after expanding 0.4 percent in the third quarter.
In the meantime, Italy’s foreign trade balance is due.
At 5.00 am ET, the European Commission is set to issue euro area economic sentiment survey results. The economic confidence index is seen at 97.0, up from 95.8 in December.
West Metro Fire Rescue frees horse from icy pond
A horse fell through ice into a small, but deep, pond on Friday in Jefferson County and the mare was rescued by firefighters.
The afternoon rescue happened in an area west of C-470 on West Belleview Avenue, according to West Metro Fire Rescue.
Before rescue crews arrived, the horse owner used a chain saw to cut through the ice in an attempt to free the equine, but the mare was too weak to stand and get out on her own, WMFR said on Twitter.
Emergency responders slid a rope around the horse’s neck and were able to get her up and out of the frigid water. After a few moments, the cold, exhausted mare was lead back to a barn.
Taiwan Consumer Confidence Improves Slightly On Stronger Expectations
Taiwan’s consumer sentiment strengthened for the first time in five months, albeit modestly, at the start of the year, led by the improvement in the households’ perception of the general economic outlook, survey data from the National Central University’s Research Center for Taiwan Economic Development, or RCTED, showed Monday.
The consumer confidence index rose to 59.73 from 59.12 in December. Among the six sub-indicators of the survey, five increased and one declined.
The biggest improvement was witnessed in the measure reflecting the view on the domestic economic situation in the next six months. The corresponding index added 1.25 points to reach 76.85.
Sub-indicators for the personal economic situation in the next six months and that for the intentions to invest in the stock market also climbed from the previous month.
Read more: Taiwan Central Bank Raises Key Rate, Cuts Growth Forecast
Households also turned positive regarding big purchases this month. The indicator for employment expectations in the next half year increased slightly.
Meanwhile, the sub-index for the assessment of the domestic inflation in the next six months declined.
The survey was conducted over the telephone from January 18 to 21 among 2,900 people over the age of 20 in Taiwan.
Russia’s Sberbank Plans to Launch DeFi Platform by May 2023
Sberbank, one of the largest banks in Russia, has announced its plan to launch a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform by May 2023.
According to a press release, the platform will be launched for open testing as early as next month.
The platform will be Ethereum-based and compatible with the Metamask wallet, according to the press release.
Sberbank is a majority state-owned bank headquartered in Moscow, Russia.
This article originally appeared on The Tokenist
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