Oil prices are lower in early morning trade as the dollar gained
against the euro amid resurgent worries about Europe's sovereign
debt situation particularly in Ireland and Portugal. Market eyes
will be on the release of the latest weekly U.S. crude inventories
data to be released by the American Petroleum Institute later in
the day, and by the Department of Energy Wednesday morning.
Gold, meanwhile, slipped from its record highs as investors
swooped in to take profits, but many analysts expect the yellow
metal to trend higher in the longer term amid renewed concerns
about European growth prospects and the global economy in general.
Indeed, ABN Amro Markets' precious metals head Gerry Schubert said
that gold holdings in exchange-traded products could climb between
10% and 20% for each of the next two years.
At 0750 ET, Brent crude is down 0.5% at $78.20 a barrel, while
light sweet crude is down 0.9% at $75.83 a barrel, and natural gas
is up 0.8% at $3.83 a million British thermal units.
Gold is 0.7% weaker at $1,290.20 an ounce, while silver is down
1.3% at $21.20 an ounce, and copper is 0.4% lower at $3.58 a
BP plc (
) was told by the U.S. Department of Justice that its probation for
violating a plea deal over the 2005 Texas City refinery will not be
revoked. Instead, the company will be given another 18 months to
complete safety reviews and upgrades at the refinery. The energy
group's new CEO Robert Dudley takes on his post this Friday.
Equatorial Guinea's minister delegate for mines Gabriel Obiang
Lima said the country has signed five oil concessions deals
including two with Russia's Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Gazprom
OAO (GAZP). The country also signed a deal with privately held
Swiss mining group Glencore International AG. Equatorial Guinea
expects oil production to increase by over 10,000 barrels a day
within the next two years as offshore developments operated by
Noble Energy Inc (
) become ready.
In the mining sector, Shanta Gold Ltd (
) signed a joint venture options agreement for a dump re-treatment
with souther Tanzania's Saza village council. The village owns
abandoned tailings dumps and rock dumps, and through the deal,
Shnata will re-treat the dumps if it makes economic sense. The
dumps are located within 7 km of the proposed New Luika gold mine
that is expected to start up in the fourth quarter.
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