The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and others, including Russia, reached an agreement in principle on Thursday to temporarily cut large volumes of production, according to a person familiar with the matter.
OPEC and the other oil-producing countries have agreed to cut about 10 million barrels a day, or about 10% from normal production levels, in May and June, said the person, who spoke under cover of anonymity because the announcement had not been formalized. .
Friday, an additional meeting of the Group of 20 nations could be envisaged.
On Thursday, negotiations were blocked by Mexico’s reluctance to reduce its share of oil, which would be 400,000 barrels a day, leaving the deal in limbo.
Before that even happened, oil prices fell because analysts and traders had hoped for a further reduction to prevent the buildup of an oil overabundance. On Thursday afternoon, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contract, the US benchmark, fell more than 7% to $ 23.28 a barrel.
Amrita Sen, chief petroleum analyst at Energy Aspects, a research firm, said markets would not be impressed with the deal.
In addition, further cuts will not begin until May, which will increase oil supplies. There are also doubts as to whether some of the countries involved in the cuts, such as Iraq, which often produces everything it can, will really respect them. Sen said OPEC and its collaborators were doing much of what they would be forced to do anyway.
Yet the meeting seems to be at least a start to tackle the most serious problem that the oil industry and OPEC countries have faced in decades. The decision to abolish could help ease growing tensions between cartel members and the United States.
Bank of America traders are under pressure to enter the office.
Bank of America merchants and other employees felt pressure to continue showing up at the office, even though some employees at Midtown Manhattan headquarters have contracted the coronavirus, according to nine current and six former employees who are aware of the conditions.
The situation forces some to make a painful choice: go to the office and risk infecting themselves and their loved ones, or stay at home and risk losing a job or an income.
Little is known from the bank about the number and location of sick employees, the employees say, leaving many concerned that they may have unwittingly spent time with a patient with the virus. The lack of information also created an atmosphere of paranoia, whispers and gossip, according to the employees.
The bank did not say how many people fell ill. “We have a vital role to play in helping to move the economy forward,” said Jessica Oppenheim, spokesperson for Bank of America, in a statement. “It is our mission. At the same time, we spare no expense or consideration to take care of our employees. “
She added that 95% of employees in trading companies now work from home.
Flooded with requests for help, a federal disaster loan program that was supposed to provide emergency relief to small businesses was underfunded and almost completely frozen. Now, business owners who have made desperate requests for money and answers on the help, if any, that they will receive.
The initiative, known as The economic disaster loan program is an extension of an emergency system run by the Small Business Administration that has been helping businesses after natural disasters for years. To accelerate billions of aid, the government directly funds the loans, saving applicants the opportunity to find a lender willing to work with them.
But faced with the pandemic, the loan program is drowning in demand. Many applicants have waited weeks for approval, with little or no information on their position, and others are told they will get a fraction of what they expected.
The program is supposed to offer loans of up to $ 2 million, but many recent applicants have said that S.B.A. the helpline told them that the loans would be capped at $ 15,000 per borrower. This was supported by a message from the agency that an applicant shared with the New York Times.
S.B.A. officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
“I’m afraid I won’t see a penny,” said Virginia Warnken Kelsey, an opera singer from Branford, Connecticut, who applied on March 29 and received no response on Thursday.
The Federal Reserve Thursday announced a major effort to help businesses and state and local governments access finance, stepping up its already significant efforts to protect the economy and financial markets from the impact of a severe recession.
The central bank said it could inject $ 2.3 trillion into the economy through the new and expanded programs. He rolled out the rescue program just as the government announced that 6.6 million more Americans were unemployed, exposing the severe economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
About 16 million people have applied for unemployment in the past three weeks. Also on Thursday, a reading of consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since 2011, potentially predicting spending cuts that could lead to yet another cascade of business closings and layoffs.
The new Fed program uses funds recently authorized by Congress to buy municipal bonds and expand corporate bond buying programs to include lower-rated and riskier debt. This will allow credit to circulate in the economy, including businesses and state and local governments that might otherwise have difficulty accessing it.
“They understand the gravity of the situation,” said Julia Coronado, founder of MacroPolicy Perspectives, an economic consultancy. “This recession is not going to be a joke, and the Fed understands.”
The markets that local governments use to issue bonds and finance themselves have been in turmoil, which has threatened to complicate government funding of government, as the sales tax and other revenues have dried up and the need for cash has skyrocketed.
The publication came after the Federal Reserve said it inject $ 2.3 trillion into the economy through new and expanded programs announced on Monday, intensifying efforts to help businesses and state and local governments financially suffer from the coronavirus epidemic.
With astounding speed, the pandemic has closed both long-standing and new businesses, leaving veterans and recent hires in almost all types of industry unpaid. In just three weeks, more than 16 million Americans lost their jobs – more losses than the most recent recession in two years.
It’s like “the economy as a whole has suddenly fallen into a black hole,” said Kathy Bostjancic, chief US financial economist at Oxford Economics. Many Wall Street analysts admit that forecasts at this point are not much more than distorted assumptions: the sudden and sudden cessation of economic activity is unprecedented, and no one knows when the restrictions traffic and commerce will be lifted.
Based on current information, several economists expect that by the end of the month, more than 20 million people will have been laid off, pushing the unemployment rate down to 15%. In February, it was 3.5%, the result of 113 consecutive months of employment growth.
Shares rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve announced an extension of its emergency lending powers to support the US economy, but gains waned in the afternoon after prices fell oil and stocks of energy companies.
Still, the S&P 500 rose about 1.5%, taking its gains this week to 12%. In the United States, markets are closed Friday, before Easter.
The Fed’s announcement coincided with darker news about the US economy. Last week, an additional 6.6 million people filed applications for The Labor Department reported on Thursday.
But investors have largely ignored the bad news, as they have done on several occasions recently. As bad from an economic point of view as the pandemic will be, Wall Street is beginning to see a path to follow that was not clear a few weeks ago. Slowing infection rates, government bailouts, and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to calm the markets have helped appease investors.
The actions of the companies hardest hit by the outbreak have come together. Retailers Difference, Nordstrom and Kohls all increased by more than 10 percent, while United airlines earned more than 14 percent.
Energy stocks, on the other hand, weighed on the S&P 500 as crude oil futures fell. Schlumberger dropped about 4 percent and Halliburton dropped about 6 percent.
Rich countries are pushing the poor into a rush for coronavirus equipment.
As the United States and Europe compete for scarce medical equipment to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the poorest nations lose to the richest in the global fray for masks and test materials.
As the wealthiest nations face “modern hacking” charges for trying to secure medical supplies for their own people, manufacturers say orders for vital test kits cannot be filled in Africa and Latin America because almost everything they produce goes to the United States or Europe. UNICEF says it is trying to buy 240 million masks to help 100 countries, but so far it has only managed to get around 28 million.
“A war is going on behind the scenes, and we are most concerned that poor countries will lose,” said Dr. Catharina Boehme, executive director of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, which works with the World Health Organization to help the poorest. countries have access to medical tests.
The supply divide matters in part because tests are the first defense against the virus and an important tool in preventing so many patients from ending up in the hospital.
The phone calls come back. The country’s largest telecommunications companies were prepared for a huge shift to more internet at home, but did not expect the return of simple and old voice calls.
Verizon currently handles an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week, more than double the number of calls made on Mother’s Day, one of the busiest calling days of the year. Verizon added that the length of voice calls was up 33% from the average day before the outbreak. AT&T said the number of cellular calls had increased by 35% and that Wi-Fi-based calls had almost doubled compared to the normal average.
On the other hand, Internet traffic only increased by 20 to 25% compared to usual daily habits, AT&T and Verizon said.
Catching up: here’s what else is going on.
the bank of england said it would be temporarily extend an existing program that allows the government to withdraw its account. The government will reimburse the money, the central bank said. The British government pays the same interest rate as commercial banks, currently 0.1%. The action appears to be a form of so-called monetary financing, in which the central bank prints money to support public spending.
University of MichiganThe consumer sentiment index fell 18.1 points in the first week of April, the largest drop in a month in more than four decades of the survey. In the past two months, the index has dropped 30 points, 50% more than any other drop ever recorded. Data for April, released Thursday, were preliminary; the university will release final data for the month on April 24.
Bark announced Thursday that it had laid off 1,000 workers and laid off 1,100 more in response to a substantial drop in business due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, said in a blog post that he would not take a salary or acquire any of his 2020 shares for the rest of the year. The collapse of local businesses hit Yelp hard, with interest in restaurant lists on the site having dropped 64% since early March. Interest in nightlife fell 81%.
The reports were provided by Jane Bradley, Jeanna Smialek, Andrew E. Kramer, Ben Casselman, Stanley Reed, Julie Weed, Graham Bowley, Keith Bradsher, Cecilia Kang, Patricia Cohen, Tiffany Hsu, Jack Ewing, Ben Sisario, Carlos Tejada, Nicole Perlroth, Matt Phillips, Motoko Rich, Hisako Ueno and Makiko Inoue.