Gene Lee, Darden's CEO, explained why lower oil prices have not helped the restaurant industry grow.
At least two workers died Tuesday as an oil maintenance platform tilted over the sea off Mexico's east coast, forcing the evacuation of 101 employees, the Pemex energy firm said. The jackup rig, owned by a Pemex contractor named Typhoon Offshore, began to list in the Sound of Campeche area of the Gulf of Mexico after a "failure" in one of its movable legs, the company said in a statement. Three Pemex employees and 98 Typhoon employees were removed from the platform, which was still tilting in the early afternoon. A jackup rig has movable legs that can raise its hull over the sea.
At least one worker died on Tuesday as a self-elevating oil maintenance platform tilted off Mexico's east coast, forcing the evacuation of 101 employees, the Pemex energy firm said. The jackup rig, owned by a Pemex contractor named Typhoon, "is continuing to tilt" in the Sound of Campeche area of the Gulf of Mexico, the company said on Twitter at around midday. "Regrettably, we confirm the death of a Typhoon company worker in the incident on the Troll Solution platform," Pemex said. A jackup rig has movable legs that can raise its hull over the sea.
Gold Holds at Familiar Support, SPX 500 Revisits Range Top
The EU upgraded its growth outlook for the eurozone Tuesday on the back of cheaper oil and a weak currency, but a sudden worsening of Greece's economic woes cast a pall over the brightening situation. "The European economy is enjoying its brightest spring in several years, with the upturn supported by both external factors and policy measures that are beginning to bear fruit," said EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. The European Commission forecast that the eurozone would grow 1.5 percent in 2015, better than the 1.3 percent predicted in February, and by an unchanged 1.9 percent for 2016. Growth for the 28-nation European Union as a whole -- including major non-euro nations such as Britain -- is forecast at 1.8 ?percent in 2015 and 2.1 percent in 2016.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June won $2.06 to $60.99 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for June advanced $1.69 to stand at $68.15 a barrel in late London deals. "Crude oil has resumed its strong recovery since bottoming out in mid-March," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at Forex.com. "The trigger behind today?s rally was apparently news that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of oil, hiked its prices to customers in Europe and North America.
Australia recorded a bigger than expected trade deficit in March, largely due to sagging prices for iron ore and coal exports. In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a deficit of $1.32 billion in March, following a revised deficit in February of $1.61 billion. CBA senior economist John Peters said falling commodity prices were behind the wider than forecast deficit. "While export volumes of coal and iron ore continue to increase, their price continued to fall over March and that was a key driver of the bigger deficit," Mr Peters told AAP.
The hoagie-making, coffee-brewing convenience and gas chain from the Philadelphia area is pushing hard into the Sunshine State, opening more than 60 stores since 2012 with another 25 planned by the end of the year. Albie Misci, sales director at cheesesteak chain Tony Luke's, knows the idea. "The cheesesteak has grown from a Philadelphia sandwich, a local food, to a national sandwich. Tony Luke's has 22 stores, seven more in development and plans to grow to 360 locations within a decade.
Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday as the market seeks to build on strong gains in April following massive falls earlier in the year. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June won 56 cents to $59.49 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for June won 47 cents to stand at $66.93 a barrel in London midday deals. After slumping at the start of the year, oil prices rose by about a fifth in value during April owing to several factors including concerns about unrest in Yemen, the weakening dollar and fewer US rigs in operation, analysts said.
Gulf oil exporters must reduce spending, including subsidies, and diversify their economies to cope with lower revenues caused by the sharp drop in crude prices, the International Monetary Fund said. The wealthy monarchies, however, should "not react in a knee-jerk way to lower oil prices", the IMF Middle East and Central Asia chief Masood Ahmed told AFP in an interview Monday. Oil prices have shed half of their value since June 2014, and are expected to be lower than the breakeven point for Gulf countries in the next three to four years. The Gulf Cooperation Council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- economies all heavily dependent on energy revenues.
China has replaced the heads of its three biggest energy companies, the firms said in separate statements, as speculation mounts over reforms to the oil industry. China's Communist Party controls the management of the country's major state-owned enterprises with power to shuffle their heads at will. Industry giant China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) said in a statement that chairman Zhou Jiping had stepped down due to age, to be replaced by Wang Yilin, previously head of offshore oil firm CNOOC.
Oil prices sank along with the euro after the European Central Bank forecast that the eurozone would continue to contract next year and only return to growth in 2014.
Brazil will sell off 269 blocks of oil this year to international operators, albeit none in potentially highly lucrative so-called pre-salt areas lying deep in the Atlantic, a government minister said Monday. Brazil is setting great store by the eventual exploitation of tens of billions of barrels' worth of pre-salt stocks and whose selloff, originally slated for next year, is now expected to come in about 2017. It will be an opportunity for firms to increase their participation or to enter the Brazilian market," said Energy Minister Eduardo Braga, hoping to spark a bidding war.
Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Monday that he is formally under investigation for influence peddling on behalf of construction giant Odebrecht. Epoca magazine reported last week that Lula was "formally suspected" of using his name to land lucrative deals for Odebrecht in Latin America and Africa between 2011 and 2014. "Epoca is deliberately trying to mislead its readers," a statement by Lula's eponymous institute said of the report, which comes as the country grapples with a huge corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras. Epoca, part of the powerful Globo media group, said a judicial investigation was under way into a swath of fat contracts negotiated by state development bank BNDES and into what the magazine claimed was Lula's role in helping to land the deals.
Oil prices drifted lower Monday, with the market lacking major news for direction as traders continued to worry about abundant global supplies of crude oil. The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for June delivery, fell 22 cents to close at $58.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent North Sea crude for June delivery, the global benchmark, settled barely unchanged at $66.45 a barrel, down one cent from Friday's closing level. "There wasn't very much news," acknowledged Bart Melek of TD Securities.
Gold Probes 7-Week Low, SPX 500 Continues to Carve Out Double Top
Engineering construction giant WorleyParsons is slashing more than 2,000 jobs globally, with some Australian positions to go as oil prices plummet. WorleyParsons has now axed 6,000 jobs since 2013. Chief executive Andrew Wood would not give a breakdown of where the latest job losses would occur, but said most would be in North America with office positions also at risk across the world. WorleyParsons said the redundancies, the early termination of office leases and other costs associated with scaling back existing projects would cost $125 million before tax.
Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics has described his own forecast for the 2015/16 budget deficit as a cross between a horror story written by Stephen King and The Scream, painted by Edvard Munch. While a sharp drop in the iron ore price has been the focus of an expected revenue downgrade, low income tax through slow wage growth will "tear a new hole in the heart of the budget", Mr Richardson said in his budget monitor released on Monday. For this financial year (2014/15), Mr Richardson is predicting a budget deficit of $45.9 billion, also $5.5 billion worse than previously forecast. All up, Mr Richardson is forecasting a whopping $47 billion blow-out in the budget estimates to 2017/18.
Transport group McAleese had half its market value wiped out after it warned of a steep earnings slide because of Atlas Iron's decision to mothball its Pilbara mines. McAleese, which provides road haulage services to Atlas, warned its underlying full year earnings were expected to fall to about $70 million from $85.3 million in 2013/14. Shares in McAleese plunged to fresh lows as they resumed trading on Monday after their suspension on April 13. The profit warning came as McAleese said it was preparing to recommence providing some haulage services to Atlas, which last Friday said it was re-opening Abydos and Wodgina mines.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's has downgraded BHP Billiton's outlook from stable to negative on forecasts of weaker cashflows for the global miner. "The outlook revision reflects our concerns that continued weakness in commodity prices, combined with BHP Billiton's commitment to a progressive dividend payment, may weaken the company's key financial metrics to below our expectations for the A+ rating without offsetting measures by the company," S&P's credit analyst May Zhong said on Monday. Ms Zhong said she believed BHP Billiton has further scope to reduce its operating costs and capital expenditure to conserve cash amid lower earnings. Like all miners, BHP has been hit by tumbling commodity prices, particularly iron ore which has lost 60 per cent of its value over the last 12 months to be sitting at decade lows.
Oil and gas sector engineering giant WorleyParson's share price has tumbled after it blamed falling commodity prices for the retrenchment of 2,000 workers. WorleyParsons says earnings during the second half of 2014/15 are likely to be about 50 per cent less than the first half of this financial year, with oil prices sliding since late last year. The company, which is focused on oil and gas sector construction projects, has blamed falling commodity prices for its hit to earnings and deterioration in its workload since February. Margins have also been hit in North America, where gas developments in Canada and the US were last year viewed as attractive.
McAleese is warning of a steep drop in full year earnings as it prepares to recommence providing some haulage services to troubled iron ore miner Altas Iron. McAleese says it will recommence services to ...
The Australian dollar is lower, following falls in commodity prices at the end of last week. At 0630 AEST on Monday, the local unit was trading at 78.29 US cents, down from 78.75 cents on Friday. Gold ...
Chevron Corp, the second-largest oil company in the US after ExxonMobil, has reported net income of $US2.6 billion ($A3.29 billion) in the first quarter, down 43 per cent from the same period of last year, a result attributable to the sharp drop in global crude prices. Chevron reported production of 2.68 million barrels per day of oil equivalent from its worldwide operations, up 3.5 per cent from January-March 2014. Chevron's upstream earnings were clobbered by the lower oil prices, coming in at $US1.6 billion in the first quarter, down 64 per cent from a year earlier. Downstream earnings, however, doubled from $US710 million in the first quarter of 2014 to $US1.4 billion in the first quarter of this year, as refining margins were given a big boost by the plunge in oil prices.
Shell has agreed with Nigerian fishing community of Bodo in the Niger Delta to start the clean up of two devastating oil spills in 2008, activists and locals said Saturday. The meeting was attended by officials of the Dutch embassy, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), Amnesty International and some local activists," Steven Obodekwe of the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development lobby group told AFP. Local fisherman Christian Kpandei who is among the 15,600 affected by the spills, said a foreign contractor had been hired for the job. Shell officials were not immediately available for comment on the development.
Gold Marks Outside Weekly Candle on FOMC- 1165 in Focus Ahead of NFP