Oil is continuing to gain in early morning trading, with hopes
climbing particularly for an improved economic outlook for Europe,
reflected in the euro's rise. Market eyes will be on the release of
the latest weekly stockpile from the American Petroleum Institute
later in the day, and the U.S. Department of Energy Wednesday for
clues in the U.S. market.
Gold is down slightly, but is expected to face upward momentum
moving forward as investors are seen buying on dips amid
longer-term concerns about the global economic recovery.
At 0755 ET, Brent crude is up 0.8% at $76.28 a barrel, while
light sweet crude is up 0.8% at $75.68 a barrel, and natural gas is
up 1.6% at $5.09 a million British thermal units.
Gold is down 0.1% at $1,223.80 an ounce, while silver is down
0.1% at $18.39 an ounce, and copper is up 0.2% at around $3.00 a
BP plc (
) remains in the hot seat, not least as its credit rating was
slashed by six levels to BBB from AA by Fitch, or two levels above
junk level. Fitch said it reduced its rating for the oil giant amid
concerns about the cost of cleaning up after the Gulf of Mexico as
well as worrries about future liabilities from the worst
environmental disaster in U.S. history.
As for Exxon Mobil Corp. (
), its CEO Rex Tillerson stated in prepared remarks to members of
the House Energy and Commerce Committee to assess whether BP took
risks "went beyond industry norms." Chevron Corp. (
) CEO John Watson and ConocoPhillips (
) CEO James Mulva too will be appearing before legislators this
morning. As for BP's CEO Tony Hayward, he will be appearing before
lawmakers on Capitol Hill Thursday.
RAM Energy Resources Inc. (
) said it is considering the possibility of sale, refinancing, or
recapitalization as it looks to get its finances back on track.
In the mining sector, BHP Billiton Ltd (
) and Rio Tinto Ltd (
) will pay an extra 3 million Australian dollars in mining
roaylties in Western Australia, but are negotiating for more
concessions, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Australia's Focus Minerals LTD (
) has acquired a 75% stake in the Lake Cowan gold and copper
project in Western Australia from Semro. Focus will issue 3 million
worth of fully paid shares to Semro, and spend 200,000 Australian
dollars on exploration over the next 12 months.