ANALYSTS GET BULLISH ON OIL
Banks upped their oil price forecasts in October for the first time in six months, as the market shows growing confidence in OPEC’s agreement to cut crude production, reports Georgi Kantchev.
Brent crude–the global benchmark–should average $54 a barrel next year, while West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil gauge, should average $51 a barrel in 2018, according to a poll of 14 investment banks surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Both the WTI and Brent forecasts are up $1 from the September survey.
“Fundamentals are improving, demand is robust and OPEC compliance with cuts is high,” said Jason Gammel, an analyst at Jefferies, one of the banks surveyed.
OIL PRICES CONTINUE STEADY MARCH HIGHER
Crude oil prices continued to climb Wednesday morning, helped by a growing consensus that OPEC will extend its deal to cut production and data showing a draw-down in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent, the global benchmark was up 1.18%, at $61.66 a barrel, on London’s Intercontinental Exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 1.27%, at $55.06 a barrel–a year-to-date high.
“The market seems to be really optimistic about OPEC continuing with production curbs” through the end of 2018, said Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at asset manager ETF Securities. He added that oil investors were also increasingly convinced that a “mopping up of excess inventories is taking place and is successful.”
U.S. TRADE PANEL ENDORSES SOLAR TARIFFS
The U.S. International Trade Commission is set to recommend that the Trump administration impose an import tariff of up to 35% on solar panels, reports Erin Ailworth.
The trade officials argue such a tariff would protect U.S. solar manufacturers from low-price imports that have hurt their competitiveness. But the solar industry remains divided on the issue.
“While some panel makers say they need protection against a flood of underpriced imports, panel installers and others in the solar industry counter that a tariff would raise prices for consumers and hurt demand for solar arrays that were made more affordable by cheap imports,” Ms. Ailworth writes.
CALIFORNIA UTILITY CALLS FOR MORE ELECTRIFICATION
Southern California Edison–one of the state’s largest power companies– said Tuesday that California needs to adopt electric vehicles, car charging stations and renewable energy if it is to meet its goals for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, Russell Gold reports.
Edison’s plan is meant to help the state comply with a new law requiring a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, said in an interview that the most “efficient and affordable” way to meet the new standards is through the development of a “robust, modern electric grid.”