even tougher winter next year as natural gas stocks are used up and as new supplies to replace Russian gas, including increased shipments from the United States or Qatar, are slow to come online, the International Energy Agency said in its annual World Energy Outlook, released last week.

Europe’s activity appears to be accelerating a global transition toward cleaner technologies, the I.E.A. added, as countries respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by embracing hydrogen fuels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and other green energies.

But in the short term, countries will be burning more fossil fuels in response to the natural gas shortages.

gas fields in Groningen, which had been slated to be sealed because of earthquakes triggered by the extraction of the fuel.

Eleven countries, including Germany, Finland and Estonia, are now building or expanding a total of 18 offshore terminals to process liquid gas shipped in from other countries. Other projects in Latvia and Lithuania are under consideration.

Nuclear power is winning new support in countries that had previously decided to abandon it, including Germany and Belgium. Finland is planning to extend the lifetime of one reactor, while Poland and Romania plan to build new nuclear power plants.

European Commission blueprint, are voluntary and rely on buy-ins from individuals and businesses whose utility bills may be subsidized by their governments.

Energy use dropped in September in several countries, although it is hard to know for sure if the cause was balmy weather, high prices or voluntary conservation efforts inspired by a sense of civic duty. But there are signs that businesses, organizations and the public are responding. In Sweden, for example, the Lund diocese said it planned to partially or fully close 150 out of 540 churches this winter to conserve energy.

Germany and France have issued sweeping guidance, which includes lowering heating in all homes, businesses and public buildings, using appliances at off-peak hours and unplugging electronic devices when not in use.

Denmark wants households to shun dryers and use clotheslines. Slovakia is urging citizens to use microwaves instead of stoves and brush their teeth with a single glass of water.

website. “Short showers,” wrote one homeowner; another announced: “18 solar panels coming to the roof in October.”

“In the coming winter, efforts to save electricity and schedule the consumption of electricity may be the key to avoiding electricity shortages,” Fingrad, the main grid operator, said.

Businesses are being asked to do even more, and most governments have set targets for retailers, manufacturers and offices to find ways to ratchet down their energy use by at least 10 percent in the coming months.

Governments, themselves huge users of energy, are reducing heating, curbing streetlight use and closing municipal swimming pools. In France, where the state operates a third of all buildings, the government plans to cut energy use by two terawatt-hours, the amount used by a midsize city.

Whether the campaigns succeed is far from clear, said Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, a European think tank. Because the recommendations are voluntary, there may be little incentive for people to follow suit — especially if governments are subsidizing energy bills.

In countries like Germany, where the government aims to spend up to €200 billion to help households and businesses offset rising energy prices starting next year, skyrocketing gas prices are hitting consumers now. “That is useful in getting them to lower their energy use,” he said. But when countries fund a large part of the bill, “there is zero incentive to save on energy,” he said.

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Saudi Arabia ‘maturer guys’ in spat with U.S., energy minister says

  • OPEC+ oil output cut led to U.S., Saudi spat
  • Saudi Arabia and U.S. “solid allies” – minister
  • Big Wall St turnout at flagship Saudi investment summit

RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia decided to be the “maturer guys” in a spat with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday.

The decision by the OPEC+ oil producer group led by Saudi Arabia this month to cut oil output targets unleashed a war of words between the White House and Riyadh ahead of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, which drew top U.S. business executives.

The two traditional allies’ relationship had already been strained by the Joe Biden administration’s stance on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Yemen war, as well as Riyadh’s growing ties with China and Russia.

When asked at the FII forum how the energy relationship with the United States could be put back on track after the cuts and with the Dec. 5 deadline for the expected price-cap on Russian oil, the Saudi energy minister said: “I think we as Saudi Arabia decided to be the maturer guys and let the dice fall”.

“We keep hearing you ‘are with us or against us’, is there any room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier that Riyadh and Washington will get over their “unwarranted” spat, highlighting long-standing corporate and institutional ties.

“If you look at the relationship with the people side, the corporate side, the education system, you look at our institutions working together we are very close and we will get over this recent spat that I think was unwarranted,” he said.

While noting that Saudi Arabia and the United States were “solid allies” in the long term, he highlighted the kingdom was “very strong” with Asian partners including China, which is the biggest importer of Saudi hydrocarbons.

The OPEC+ cut has raised concerns in Washington about the possibility of higher gasoline prices ahead of the November U.S. midterm elections, with the Democrats trying to retain their control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Biden pledged that “there will be consequences” for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ move.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, said in a CNN interview that Saudi Arabia was not siding with Russia and engages with “everybody across the board”.

“And by the way, it’s okay to disagree. We’ve disagreed in the past, and we’ve agreed in the past, but the important thing is recognizing the value of this relationship,” she said.

She added that “a lot of people talk about reforming or reviewing the relationship” and said that was “a positive thing” as Saudi Arabia “is not the kingdom it was five years ago.”

FULL ATTENDENCE AT FII

Like previous years, the FII three-day forum that opened on Tuesday saw a big turnout from Wall Street, as well as other industries with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, speaking at the gathering, voiced confidence that Saudi Arabia and the United States would safeguard their 75-year-old alliance.

“I can’t imagine any allies agreeing on everything and not having problems – they’ll work it through,” Dimon said. “I’m comfortable that folks on both sides are working through and that these countries will remain allies going forward, and hopefully help the world develop and grow properly.”

The FII is a showcase for the Saudi crown prince’s Vision 2030 development plan to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for millions of Saudis, and to lure foreign capital and talent.

No Biden administration officials were visible at the forum on Tuesday. Jared Kushner, a former senior aide to then-President Donald Trump who enjoyed good ties with Prince Mohammed, was featured as a front-row speaker.

The Saudi government invested $2 billion with a firm incorporated by Kushner after Trump left office.

FII organisers said this year’s edition attracted 7,000 delegates compared with 4,000 last year.

After its inaugural launch in 2017, the forum was marred by a Western boycott over Khashoggi’s killing by Saudi agents. It recovered the next year, attracting leaders and businesses with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, after which the pandemic hit the world.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Yousef Saba in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous and Michael Geory; Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter, Vinay Dwivedi, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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U.K. Live Updates: With Cabinet Picks, Sunak Opts for Stability

In his first address as Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak vowed on Tuesday to lead a government of “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.” Here is his speech in full:

I have just been to Buckingham Palace and accepted His Majesty the King’s invitation to form a government in his name. It is only right to explain why I am standing here as your new prime minister.

Right now our country is facing a profound economic crisis. The aftermath of Covid still lingers. Putin’s war in Ukraine has destabilized energy markets and supply chains the world over.

I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, Liz Truss. She was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country — it is a noble aim — and I admired her restlessness to create change.

But some mistakes were made — not borne of ill will or bad intentions, quite the opposite, in fact — but mistakes nonetheless. And I have been elected as leader of my party, and your prime minister, in part, to fix them. And that work begins immediately.

I will place economic stability and confidence at the heart of this government’s agenda. This will mean difficult decisions to come. But you saw me during Covid, doing everything I could, to protect people and businesses, with schemes like furlough.

There are always limits, more so now than ever, but I promise you this: I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today.

The government I lead will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves.

I will unite our country, not with words, but with action.

I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.

This government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.

Trust is earned. And I will earn yours.

I will always be grateful to Boris Johnson for his incredible achievements as prime minister, and I treasure his warmth and generosity of spirit.

And I know he would agree that the mandate my party earned in 2019 is not the sole property of any one individual, it is a mandate that belongs to and unites all of us.

And the heart of that mandate is our manifesto. I will deliver on its promise: a stronger N.H.S., better schools, safer streets, control of our borders, protecting our environment, supporting our armed forces, leveling up and building an economy that embraces the opportunities of Brexit, where businesses invest, innovate and create jobs.

I understand how difficult this moment is.

After the billions of pounds it cost us to combat Covid, after all the dislocation that caused in the midst of a terrible war that must be seen successfully to its conclusions, I fully appreciate how hard things are. And I understand, too, that I have work to do to restore trust after all that has happened.

All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted, and I hope to live up to its demands.

But when the opportunity to serve comes along, you cannot question the moment, only your willingness.

So I stand here before you ready to lead our country into the future, to put your needs above politics, to reach out and build a government that represents the very best traditions of my party.

Together we can achieve incredible things.

We will create a future worthy of the sacrifices so many have made and fill tomorrow, and everyday thereafter with hope.

Thank you.

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Saudi Arabia ‘maturer guys’ in spat with U.S., says energy minister

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  • OPEC+ oil output cut led to U.S., Saudi spat
  • Saudi Arabia and U.S. “solid allies” – minister
  • Big Wall St turnout at flagship Saudi investment summit

RIYADH, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia decided to be the “maturer guys” in a spat with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday.

The decision by the OPEC+ oil producer group led by Saudi Arabia this month to cut oil output targets unleashed a war of words between the White House and Riyadh ahead of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, which drew top U.S. business executives.

The two traditional allies’ relationship had already been strained by the Joe Biden administration’s stance on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Yemen war, as well as Riyadh’s growing ties with China and Russia.

When asked at the FII forum how the energy relationship with the United States could be put back on track after the cuts and with the Dec. 5 deadline for the expected price-cap on Russian oil, the Saudi energy minister said: “I think we as Saudi Arabia decided to be the maturer guys and let the dice fall”.

“We keep hearing you ‘are with us or against us’, is there any room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier that Riyadh and Washington will get over their “unwarranted” spat, highlighting long-standing corporate and institutional ties.

“If you look at the relationship with the people side, the corporate side, the education system, you look at our institutions working together we are very close and we will get over this recent spat that I think was unwarranted,” he said.

While noting that Saudi Arabia and the United States were “solid allies” in the long term, he highlighted the kingdom was “very strong” with Asian partners including China, which is the biggest importer of Saudi hydrocarbons.

The OPEC+ cut has raised concerns in Washington about the possibility of higher gasoline prices ahead of the November U.S. midterm elections, with the Democrats trying to retain their control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Biden pledged that “there will be consequences” for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ move.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, said in a CNN interview that Saudi Arabia was not siding with Russia and engages with “everybody across the board”.

“And by the way, it’s okay to disagree. We’ve disagreed in the past, and we’ve agreed in the past, but the important thing is recognizing the value of this relationship,” she said.

She added that “a lot of people talk about reforming or reviewing the relationship” and said that was “a positive thing” as Saudi Arabia “is not the kingdom it was five years ago.”

FULL ATTENDENCE AT FII

Like previous years, the FII three-day forum that opened on Tuesday saw a big turnout from Wall Street, as well as other industries with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, speaking at the gathering, voiced confidence that Saudi Arabia and the United States would safeguard their 75-year-old alliance.

“I can’t imagine any allies agreeing on everything and not having problems – they’ll work it through,” Dimon said. “I’m comfortable that folks on both sides are working through and that these countries will remain allies going forward, and hopefully help the world develop and grow properly.”

The FII is a showcase for the Saudi crown prince’s Vision 2030 development plan to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for millions of Saudis, and to lure foreign capital and talent.

No Biden administration officials were visible at the forum on Tuesday. Jared Kushner, a former senior aide to then-President Donald Trump who enjoyed good ties with Prince Mohammed, was featured as a front-row speaker.

The Saudi government invested $2 billion with a firm incorporated by Kushner after Trump left office.

FII organisers said this year’s edition attracted 7,000 delegates compared with 4,000 last year.

After its inaugural launch in 2017, the forum was marred by a Western boycott over Khashoggi’s killing by Saudi agents. It recovered the next year, attracting leaders and businesses with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, after which the pandemic hit the world.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Yousef Saba in Dubai; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous and Michael Geory; Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter, Vinay Dwivedi, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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New PM Rishi Sunak pledges to lead Britain out of economic crisis

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  • Sunak meets King Charles on Tuesday morning
  • Vows to rebuild trust in the country
  • Expected to start forming a cabinet
  • Sunak faces huge challenge to rebuild stability

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Rishi Sunak became Britain’s third prime minister in two months on Tuesday and pledged to lead the country out of a profound economic crisis and rebuild trust in politics.

Sunak quickly reappointed Jeremy Hunt as his finance minister in a move designed to calm markets that had balked at his predecessor’s debt-fuelled economic plans.

The former hedge fund boss said he would unite the country and was expected to name a cabinet drawn from all wings of the party to end infighting and abrupt policy changes that have horrified investors and alarmed international allies.

Speaking outside his official Downing Street residence, Sunak praised the ambition of his predecessor Liz Truss to reignite economic growth but acknowledged mistakes had been made.

“I have been elected as leader of my party and your prime minister, in part to fix them,” said Sunak, who broke with the tradition of standing beside his family and cheering political supporters.

“I understand, too, that I have work to do to restore trust, after all that has happened. All I can say is that I am not daunted. I know the high office I have accepted and I hope to live up to its demands.”

Sunak said difficult decisions lay ahead as he looks to cut public spending. Hunt, who Truss appointed to calm markets roiled by her dash for growth, has been preparing a new budget alongside borrowing and growth forecasts due out on Monday, and repeated his warning on Tuesday that “it is going to be tough”.

The new prime minister also restored Dominic Raab to the post of deputy prime minister, a role he lost in Truss’s 44 days in office, but reappointed James Cleverly as foreign minister and Ben Wallace at defence.

Penny Mordaunt, who ended her bid to win a leadership contest against Sunak on Monday, also retained her position as leader of the House of Commons, a role that organises the government’s business in the lower house of parliament.

Sources had said she wanted to become foreign minister.

With his new appointments, Sunak was seen to be drawing ministers from across the Conservative Party while leaving others in post – a move that should ease concerns that Sunak might appoint loyalists rather than try to unify the party.

TOUGH DECISIONS

Sunak, one of the richest men in parliament, is expected to slash spending to plug an estimated 40 billion pound ($45 billion) hole in the public finances created by an economic slowdown, higher borrowing costs and an energy support scheme.

He will now need to review all spending, including on politically sensitive areas such as health, education, defence, welfare and pensions. But with his party’s popularity in freefall, he will face growing calls for an election if he ditches too many of the promises that the Conservatives win election in 2019.

Economists and investors have welcomed Sunak’s appointment – Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said the adults had taken charge again – but they warn he has few options to fix the country’s finances when millions are battling a cost of living crunch.

Sunak, who ran the Treasury during the COVID-19 pandemic, promised to put economic stability and confidence at the heart of the agenda. “This will mean difficult decisions to come,” he said, shortly after he accepted King Charles’s request to form a government.

Sunak also vowed to put the public’s need above politics, in recognition of the growing anger at Britain’s political class and the ideological battles that have raged ever since the historic 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Workers heading towards London’s financial district said Sunak, at 42 Britain’s youngest prime minister for more than 200 years and its first leader of colour, appeared to be the best of a bad bunch.

“I think he was competent, and that’s really what we should hope for at the moment,” said management consultant, James Eastbook, 43.

With two prime ministers appointed in two months without a popular vote, some called for a general election now but others hoped Sunak would stay until the next scheduled election, due by January 2025.

POLITICAL MACHINATIONS

Sunak, a Goldman Sachs analyst who only entered parliament in 2015, faces a challenge ending the factional infighting that has brought his party low. Many Conservatives remain angry with him for quitting as finance minister in July and triggering a wider rebellion that ended Boris Johnson’s premiership.

Others question how a multi millionaire can lead the country when millions of people are struggling with surging food and energy bills.

“I think this decision sinks us as a party for the next election,” one Conservative lawmaker told Reuters.

Historian and political biographer Anthony Seldon said Sunak would also be constrained by the mistakes of his immediate predecessor.

“There is no leeway on him being anything other than extraordinarily conservative and cautious,” he told Reuters.

Many politicians and officials abroad, having watched as a country once seen as a pillar of economic and political stability descended into brutal infighting, welcomed Sunak’s appointment.

Sunak, a Hindu, also becomes Britain’s first prime minister of Indian origin.

U.S. President Joe Biden described it as a “groundbreaking milestone”, while leaders from India and elsewhere welcomed the news. Sunak’s billionaire father-in-law, N.R. Narayana Murthy, said he would serve the United Kingdom well.

“We are proud of him and we wish him success,” the founder of software giant Infosys said in a statement.

($1 = 0.8864 pounds)

Writing by by Kate Holton and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jon Boyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Nasdaq leads Wall St higher on hopes of less-hawkish Federal Reserve

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  • Alphabet, Microsoft and S&P 500 futures dip after the bell
  • Consumer confidence sours, home price growth cools
  • S&P 500 closes 8% above Oct. 12 closing trough
  • Indexes up: Dow 1.07%, S&P 1.63%, Nasdaq 2.25%

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday as soft economic data hinted that the Fed’s aggressive policy is taking effect, while falling benchmark Treasury yields boosted the rally’s momentum.

All three major U.S. stock indexes advanced for the third straight session, with market-leading megacaps providing the most upside muscle. The S&P 500 has reclaimed about 8% from the trough of its Oct. 12 close.

“There’s increasing discussion about a light at the end of the tunnel for Fed rate hikes,” said Bill Merz, head of capital market research at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis. Merz also cautioned that it wouldn’t be known for some time whether decades-high inflation was “decisively headed toward the Fed’s target.”

“We’re seeing a bit of a reprieve in the dollar and long-term bond yields have come down a little bit,” Merz added. “Those factors are combining to provide room for a bit of a rally.”

After the bell, Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) delivered weaker than expected quarterly results, sending their shares down about 7%. That helped push S&P 500 emini futures down almost 1%, suggesting traders expect the stock market to open deep in negative territory on Wednesday.

Yields of 10-year Treasuries pulled pack on hopes that the Federal Reserve could begin easing its battle against inflation.

A mixed brew of earnings and downbeat forecasts, usually a negative for markets, have suggested the barrage of interest rate hikes from the Fed is beginning to be felt, raising expectations that the central bank could pull back on the size of rate hikes after its Nov. 1-2 policy meeting.

Data on Tuesday showed slowing home price growth and souring consumer confidence. Such signs of economic softness, ordinarily unsupportive of risk appetite, are evidence of abating Fed hawkishness.

The financial market is nearly evenly split on whether the central bank’s December rate increase will ease to 50 basis points after a string of 75 basis point hikes, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 337.12 points, or 1.07%, to 31,836.74, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 61.77 points, or 1.63%, to 3,859.11 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 246.50 points, or 2.25%, to 11,199.12.

Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, all but energy (.SPNY) posted gains on the day, with real estate (.SPLRCR) enjoying the largest percentage gain.

Third-quarter reporting season is firing on all pistons, with 129 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 74% have beaten consensus expectations, according to Refinitiv.

Analysts have set the bar low; aggregate S&P 500 earnings growth is now seen landing at 3.3% year-on-year, down from 4.5% at the beginning of the month, per Refinitiv.

Coca-Cola Co rose 2.4% after the company upped its revenue and profit forecasts, banking on steady demand amid price increases.

General Motors (GM.N) reaffirmed its outlook after posting solid earnings, sending its shares jumping 3.6%.

On the downside, aerospace company Raytheon Technologies Corp posted a near 5% annual revenue increase, but its shares slid 1.5% on the company’s trimmed sales outlook.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 5.35-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.67-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 85 new highs and 120 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.89 billion shares, compared with the 11.57 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; Additional reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru and Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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World is in its ‘first truly global energy crisis’ – IEA’s Birol

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Tightening markets for liquefied natural gas (LNG) worldwide and major oil producers cutting supply have put the world in the middle of “the first truly global energy crisis”, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

Rising imports of LNG to Europe amid the Ukraine crisis and a potential rebound in Chinese appetite for the fuel will tighten the market as only 20 billion cubic meters of new LNG capacity will come to market next year, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said during the Singapore International Energy Week.

At the same time the recent decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, to cut 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of output is a “risky” decision as the IEA sees global oil demand growth of close to 2 million bpd this year, Birol said.

“(It is) especially risky as several economies around the world are on the brink of a recession, if that we are talking about the global recession…I found this decision really unfortunate,” he said.

Soaring global prices across a number of energy sources, including oil, natural gas and coal, are hammering consumers at the same time they are already dealing with rising food and services inflation. The high prices and possibility of rationing are potentially hazardous to European consumers as they prepare to enter the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Europe may make it through this winter, though somewhat battered, if the weather remains mild, Birol said.

“Unless we will have an extremely cold and long winter, unless there will be any surprises in terms of what we have seen, for example Nordstream pipeline explosion, Europe should go through this winter with some economic and social bruises,” he added.

For oil, consumption is expected to grow by 1.7 million bpd in 2023 so the world will still need Russian oil to meet demand, Birol said.

G7 nations have proposed a mechanism that would allow emerging nations to buy Russian oil but at lower prices to cap Moscow’s revenues in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Birol said the scheme still has many details to iron out and will require the buy-in of major oil importing nations.

A U.S. Treasury official told Reuters last week that it is not unreasonable to believe that up to 80% to 90% of Russian oil will continue to flow outside the price cap mechanism if Moscow seeks to flout it.

“I think this is good because the world still needs Russian oil to flow into the market for now. An 80%-90% is good and encouraging level in order to meet the demand,” Birol said.

While there is still a huge volume of strategic oil reserves that can be tapped during a supply disruption, another release is not currently on the agenda, he added.

ENERGY SECURITY DRIVES RENEWABLES GROWTH

The energy crisis could be a turning point for accelerating clean sources and for forming a sustainable and secured energy system, Birol said.

“Energy security is the number one driver (of the energy transition),” said Birol, as countries see energy technologies and renewables as a solution.

The IEA has revised up the forecast of renewable power capacity growth in 2022 to a 20% year-on-year increase from 8% previously, with close to 400 gigawatts of renewable capacity being added this year.

Many countries in Europe and elsewhere are accelerating the installation of renewable capacity by cutting the permitting and licensing processes to replace the Russian gas, Birol said.

Reporting by Florence Tan, Muyu Xu and Emily Chow; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Christian Schmollinger

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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U.K. Live Updates: Rishi Sunak Will Become the U.K.’s Next Prime Minister on Tuesday

Rishi Sunak already has experience steering Britain’s public finances through a crisis, but that is unlikely to make tackling the country’s economic challenges any less daunting.

As chancellor of the Exchequer from February 2020 to July this year, Mr. Sunak spent heavily to shield households and businesses from some of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Back then, inflation was low and the Bank of England was buying government debt, helping keep interest rates low as borrowing ballooned to pay for the large increase in spending.

Now, Mr. Sunak, who is set to be Britain’s next prime minister after being named leader of the Conservative Party on Monday, will face a very different economic backdrop: The inflation rate has topped 10 percent, the highest in 40 years and, like many countries, the economy is slowing down and at risk of falling into a recession. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is continuing to raise interest rates to curb inflation, and won’t be there to purchase government debt because starting next month it is planning to slowly sell its holdings of bonds. That means the government will rely more on investors, who have been demanding higher interest rates, than the central bank to buy bonds.

In these circumstances, Mr. Sunak has several urgent issues to resolve. One is how to support households squeezed by rising energy costs, after Russia’s war in Ukraine introduced huge volatility into global energy markets. As things stand, household bills have been frozen from this month through to April at an average of 2,500 pounds ($2,826) a year, but after that the government is expected to develop a cheaper policy to help the most vulnerable households. A similar policy is in place to help businesses for six months.

After setting aside tens of billions of pounds to keep energy bills down, the government is also under pressure to show how it will keep borrowing in check, in an effort to restore Britain’s fiscal credibility in markets. Jeremy Hunt, the finance minister recently installed by Liz Truss but a supporter of Mr. Sunak, is scheduled to deliver a fiscal statement on Oct. 31 that he said would show Britain’s debt falling as a share of national income over the medium term.

To bring down debt levels, “decisions of eye-watering difficulty” on spending and tax will need to be made, Mr. Hunt has said. He said he will be asking every government department to find ways to save money despite their already stretched budgets. At the same time, Mr. Hunt said taxes are likely to rise as well. Mr. Sunak, however, is not obligated to keep Mr. Hunt as chancellor or stick to the current timetable for the fiscal statement, though many analysts expect him to.

“The United Kingdom is a great country, but there is no doubt we face a profound economic challenge,” Mr. Sunak said on Monday in a short speech. “We now need stability and unity.”

At this stage, Mr. Sunak hasn’t revealed details about his economic plan as prime minister but investors appear to be taking the prospect of his premiership in their stride.

The pound is trading at about $1.13, a little higher than it was on Sept. 22 before the tax-cutting plan by Ms. Truss that roiled markets, pushing the pound steeply lower and borrowing costs higher. Government bonds yields have fallen from their recent highs. On Monday afternoon, the yield on 10-year bonds was at about 3.75 percent, after closing at 4 percent on Friday. It’s the lowest level since the fiscal statement by Ms. Truss’s government in September.

Lower interest rates will be a comfort to Mr. Sunak. For one, lower rates will shrink the amount of money the Treasury will need to set aside for interest rate payments, which could ease spending cuts and tax increases. But there are other reminders of the economic difficulties Britain faces.

On Monday, a measure of economic activity in Britain dropped, as the services industry posted its worst monthly decline since January 2021, according to the Purchasing Managers’ Index which measures economic trends. The index for both services and manufacturing activity fell to 47.2 points. A reading below 50 means a contraction in activity.

The data showed that the pace of economic decline was gathering momentum, said Chris Williamson, an economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

And on Friday, the credit ratings agency Moody’s changed its outlook on Britain to negative, from stable, while reaffirming the country’s current Aa3 investment grade rating. A lower credit rating tends to lead to higher government borrowing costs.

Moody’s said the outlook was changed to negative because of the “heightened unpredictability in policymaking amid weaker growth prospects and high inflation.” There was also a risk that increased borrowing would challenge Britain’s debt affordability, especially if there was a “sustained weakening in policy credibility.”

These are just the latest in a laundry list of the government’s economic concerns. They include supporting low-income households against the rising cost of living, encouraging investment to improve weak productivity growth, smoothing Britain’s trading relationship with the European Union and growing the labor market to ensure businesses can find people with the right skills.

“We need a clear long-term vision of how the new prime minister will deal with the challenges ahead,” Shevaun Haviland, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said in a statement, “and create the business conditions that allow firms, and the communities that rely on them, to thrive.” 

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XL Fleet Corp. Receives Notice Regarding NYSE Continued Listing Standard

WIXOM, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–XL Fleet Corp. (NYSE: XL) (“XL Fleet” or the “Company”), a provider of subscription-based services that make it easy for homeowners and small businesses to own and maintain rooftop solar and battery storage, today announced that on October 20, 2022, it received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), notifying the Company that it is out of compliance with the NYSE’s price criteria for continued listing standards because, as of October 19, 2022, the average closing price of the Company’s common stock was less than $1.00 per share over a consecutive 30 trading-day period.

The Company will notify the NYSE of its intent to cure its stock price deficiency within the applicable time period required by the NYSE, and to return to compliance with the NYSE continued listing standard. The Company can regain compliance at any time within the six-month period following receipt of the NYSE notice if on the last trading day of any calendar month during the cure period the Company has a closing share price of at least $1.00 and an average closing share price of at least $1.00 over the 30 trading-day period ending on the last trading day of that month. The Company intends to consider all available alternatives, including, but not limited to, a potential reverse stock split, subject to stockholder approval, no later than at the Company’s next annual meeting of stockholders, if necessary to cure the stock price non-compliance. Under the NYSE’s rules, if the Company determines that it will cure the stock price deficiency by taking an action that will require stockholder approval by no later than its next annual meeting of stockholders and implements the action promptly thereafter, the price condition will be deemed cured if the price promptly exceeds $1.00 per share, and the price remains above that level for at least the following 30 trading days.

The NYSE notification does not affect the Company’s business operations, its Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements, credit agreements or other contractual obligations. The Company’s common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE, subject to its compliance with other NYSE continued listing standards. The Company is currently in compliance with other applicable NYSE continued listing standards.

This press release is issued as required under the NYSE rules. The notice from the NYSE was issued pursuant to Section 802.01C of the NYSE’s Listed Company Manual.

About XL Fleet

XL Fleet provides subscription-based services that make it easy for homeowners and small businesses to own and maintain rooftop solar and battery storage. Our as-a-service model allows consumers to access new technology without making a significant upfront investment or incurring maintenance costs. XL Fleet has more than 52,000 subscribers across the United States. For additional information, please visit www.xlfleet.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of management and are not predictions of actual performance. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the Company’s ability to regain compliance with the continued listing standards of the NYSE within the applicable cure period; the Company’s ability to continue to comply with applicable listing standards of the NYSE; expectations regarding the growth of the solar industry, home electrification, electric vehicles and distributed energy resources; the ability to successfully integrate the Spruce Power acquisition; the ability of XL Fleet to implement its plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to Spruce Power’s business and realize the expected benefits of the acquisition; the ability to identify and complete future acquisitions; the ability to develop and market new products and services; the effects of pending and future legislation; the highly competitive nature of the Company’s business and markets; litigation, complaints, product liability claims and/or adverse publicity; cost increases or shortages in the components or chassis necessary to support the Company’s products and services; the introduction of new technologies; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition, regulatory compliance and customer experience; the potential loss of certain significant customers; privacy and data protection laws, privacy or data breaches, or the loss of data; general economic, financial, legal, political and business conditions and changes in domestic and foreign markets; the inability to convert its sales opportunity pipeline into binding orders; risks related to the rollout of the Company’s business and the timing of expected business milestones, including the ongoing global microchip shortage and limited availability of chassis from vehicle OEMs and our reliance on our suppliers; the effects of competition on the Company’s future business; the availability of capital; and the other risks discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 31, 2022, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other documents that the Company files with the SEC in the future. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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Liz Truss’s Departure Creates Economic Uncertainty As Inflation Rises

The fall of Liz Truss, Britain’s prime minister for just six tumultuous weeks, has plunged the nation into another phase of economic uncertainty.

When Ms. Truss announced her resignation on Thursday as Conservative Party leader, saying she would stand down as prime minister, the markets that had rebelled against her fiscal policies engaged in a weak and short-lived rally. Investors were left wondering who would be the new leader and what lay ahead for Britain’s economic policy. On Friday morning, government bonds were falling, pushing yields higher, and the pound was dropping.

“It’s a leap into the unknown,” said Antoine Bouvet, an interest rates strategist at ING.

Overall the initial reaction, Mr. Bouvet added, suggested that investors expect that a new prime minister will go ahead with fiscal plans generally supported by the market. But he said it was too early to be sure.

“Let’s see who gets elected leader and what they say on fiscal policy,” he said.

The next prime minister, the third this year, will face a long list of economic challenges. Annual inflation topped 10 percent last month as food prices rose at their fastest pace in more than 40 years. Wages haven’t kept up with rising prices, bringing about a cost-of-living crisis and labor unrest. There is a deepening slump in consumer spending with data on Friday showing people were buying less than before the pandemic. Interest rates are set to rise even as the economy stagnates. And Russia’s war in Ukraine is still rippling through the global economy, especially the energy market.

provoked extraordinary volatility in markets at the end of September when her first chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced a plan for widespread tax cuts and huge spending, to be financed by borrowing. Amid the highest inflation in four decades and rising interest rates, markets deemed the plan, delivered without any independent assessment, a rupture in Britain’s reputation for fiscal credibility. The pound dropped to a record low, and government bond yields shot up so violently the central bank was forced to intervene to stop a crisis in the pension funds industry.

began to settle markets. However, bond yields remain noticeably higher than they were before the September tax plan was announced, as investors still demand a higher premium to lend to Britain. On Thursday, 10-year government bond yields closed at 3.91 percent, up from 3.50 percent on Sept. 22, the day before Mr. Kwarteng’s policy announcement.

Ms. Truss’s tenure as prime minister, the shortest in British history, was undone by economic policies that harked back to the trickle-down economics of the 1980s, built on the belief that tax cuts for the wealthy were fair and would lead to investment and economic growth that would benefit everyone.

fixed rates have settled higher.

Meanwhile, the new government is likely to be focused on restoring the government’s fiscal credibility. Mr. Hunt is set to deliver a “medium-term fiscal plan,” with spending and tax measures, on Oct. 31. He said he expected to make “difficult” spending cuts as he planned to show that debt levels were falling in the medium term.

It will be accompanied by an independent assessment of the fiscal and economic impact of the policies by the Office for Budget Responsibility, a government watchdog.

While markets have cheered the government’s promise to have its policies independently reviewed, questions remain about how the gap in the public finances can be closed. Economists say there is very little room in stretched department budgets to make cuts. That has led to concerns of a return to austerity measures, reminiscent of the spending cuts after the 2008 financial crisis.

There is a danger,” Mr. Chadha said, “that we end up with tighter fiscal policy than actually is appropriate given the shock that many households are suffering.” This could make it harder to support people suffering amid rising food and energy prices. But Mr. Chadha argues that it’s clear what needs to happen next: a complete elimination of unfunded tax cuts and careful planning on how to support vulnerable households.

The chancellor could also end up having a lot more autonomy over fiscal policy than the prime minister, he added.

“The best outcome for markets would be a rapid rallying of the parliamentary Conservative Party around a single candidate” who would validate Mr. Hunt’s approach and the timing of the Oct. 31 report, Trevor Greetham, a portfolio manager at Royal London Asset Management, said in a written comment.

Three days after the fiscal statement, on Nov. 3, Bank of England policymakers will announce their next interest rate decisions.

Bond investors are trying to parse how the central bank will react to the rapidly changing fiscal news. On Thursday, before Ms. Truss’s resignation, Ben Broadbent, a member of the central bank’s rate-setting committee, indicated that policymakers might not need to raise interest rates as much as markets currently expect. Traders are betting that the bank will raise rates above 5 percent next year, from 2.25 percent.

The bank could raise rates less than expected next year partly because the economy is forecast to shrink over the year. The International Monetary Fund predicted that the British economy would go from 3.6 percent growth this year to a 0.3 percent contraction next year.

That’s a mild recession compared with some other forecasts, but it would only compound the longstanding economic problems that Britain faced, including weak investment, low productivity growth and businesses’ inability to find employees with the right skills. These were among the challenges that Ms. Truss said she would resolve by shaking up the status quo and targeting economic growth of 2.5 percent a year.

Most economists didn’t believe that “Trussonomics,” as her policies were called, would deliver this economic growth. Instead, they predicted the policies would prolong the country’s inflation problem.

Despite the change in leadership, analysts don’t expect a big rally in Britain’s financial markets. The nation’s international standing could take a long time to recover.

“It takes years to build a reputation and one day to undo it,” Mr. Bouvet said, adding, “Investors will come progressively back to the U.K.,” but it won’t be quickly.

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