Global Markets: Major oil nations agree to production cuts

Wage subsidy bill gets speedy passage

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, April 13 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Global oil production is to be slashed by one-tenth as OPEC, Russia and the G20 reached an agreement after a week of phone calls and video conferences. Since the beginning of March there has been an oil price war between the Saudis and the Russians that drove benchmark prices to 20-year lows. The deal will see the OPEC+ alliance, which includes Russia, cut their production by 9.7 million barrels per day (BPD). The United States, Canada and Brazil are to reduce their production by 3.7 million BPD, while other G20 countries slow theirs by 1.3 million. However, benchmark prices for crude oil on Monday morning were flat after the initial euphoria of the historic agreement subsided. Industry analysts already said the global market likely needs a much larger production cut, of up to 35 million BPD, to contend with the sharply reduced demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

– A handful Canadian MP’s and senators gathered in a rare Saturday evening parliamentary sitting to quickly pass the government’s C$73 billion wage subsidy program. Under the program, the federal government will cover up to C$847 per week for an employee’s wages during the pandemic. Approximately 25 per cent of Canadian workers have already applied for emergency income support in recent weeks. The bill received the Governor-General’s royal assent later that evening.

– With U.S. President Donald Trump coming under increased pressure for his handling the pandemic, he took to Twitter on Sunday to suggest his top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, should be fired. Trump retweeted another person’s tweet that stated Fauci downplayed the severity of the pandemic. Trump and Fauci have appeared to be at odds since the president suggested social distancing measures could have been lifted by Easter, while Fauci stated the U.S. could see up to 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.

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