Edition:
United Kingdom

George Hay

Breakingviews - Oil majors’ Atlantic divide shows up in valuation

02 Jul 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oil majors’ growing Atlantic divide has an interesting valuation quirk. American energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron are lagging further behind European rivals Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total in embracing the pivot away from hydrocarbons. Yet investors seem keener on the transition tortoises than hares.

Breakingviews - Liverpool has one more financial peak to conquer

26 Jun 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Liverpool FC has reached the promised land. The UK soccer club, which dominated English football in the 1980s but then went into prolonged decline, on Thursday finally won the national Premier League after three decades. Unlike manager Juergen Klopp, who has now secured all the most prestigious titles he could win with Liverpool, the club’s finances have one more peak to climb.

Breakingviews - BP’s greener credentials sharpen focus on dividend

15 Jun 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bernard Looney’s overhaul of BP is gaining credibility. The UK oil major’s new chief executive on Monday said the company would take charges worth up to $17.5 billion against second-quarter earnings after slashing long-term assumptions about crude and natural gas prices. But his greener look also amplifies the dilemma about BP’s generous dividend.

Breakingviews - Oil prices are stuck in a narrow tunnel

12 Jun 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oil’s 2020 roller coaster is on a new downward section of track. After respectively falling below $20 a barrel and turning negative in April, Brent and U.S. crude prices recovered to $40 a barrel amid coordinated supply cuts. Fresh falls in recent days make that level look more like a ceiling.

Breakingviews - Supply chains’ tectonic shift will get viral jolt

07 May 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Most people pay no attention to a machine’s inner workings until it breaks down. Empty supermarket shelves and shortages of vital coronavirus-fighting products focused attention on international supply chains. In a United States election year, it could well accelerate a rethink of globalisation.

Breakingviews - Shell’s dividend surrender is a necessary evil

30 Apr 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The great 2020 oil crash is now officially a crisis. Not because Covid-19 has caused an unprecedented drop in global demand, or because Brent crude prices have fallen by two-thirds and U.S. crude futures turned negative last week. Rather it’s because Royal Dutch Shell, has cut its dividend.

Breakingviews - Oil market inferno claims victims of all sizes

24 Apr 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - This week’s inferno in the oil market looks like a depressingly familiar story. Scores of dumb retail investors hoping for a bounce in the price of crude were immolated while savvy institutional players supplied petrol and matches. The reality is less straightforward.

Breakingviews - Sub-zero oil trauma rips off investors’ blinkers

21 Apr 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oil has entered a new world. After the shock of seeing the cost of a barrel of U.S. crude for delivery in May drop far below zero on Monday, the question is whether energy prices will rebound to the $20-$30 band in which they have been trading recently or whether investors will be permanently scarred. Logic, and market moves on Tuesday, suggest the latter.

Breakingviews - Oil’s big crash is more rational than it looks

20 Apr 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oil prices have gone through the floor, literally. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil went negative for the first time in history on Monday as traders panicked that storage for black gold coming from the vast U.S. fields had filled to the brim. Normally, that sort of crash in one-month U.S. crude futures would be indicative of something funny going on in the market rather than something deeply disturbing. In this case, both things can be true.

Breakingviews - Shell helps avoid net-zero focus on climate change

16 Apr 2020

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Royal Dutch Shell is keeping green concerns in the picture – just. The Anglo-Dutch oil major on Thursday announced a toughening of its carbon reduction targets, in keeping with rival BP’s big announcement in February. The new goals could be more ambitious, but they do at least suggest Big Oil is not using Covid-19 chaos to completely ignore climate change. 

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