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COVID-19 - News digest as of 30.07.2021

July 30/2021

1. Shell raises dividend by almost 40% amid soaring oil prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell has raised its dividend almost 40 per cent and launched a USD2bn share buyback scheme, as the energy major takes advantage of stronger energy prices to try to attract back investors, said The Financial Times. Thursdays moves, which came as the group reported a jump in second-quarter earnings helped by oils recovery above USD70 a barrel, were more aggressive than analysts had anticipated and show the pressure on energy majors to resurrect flagging share prices. Frances TotalEnergies also reported strong results on Thursday with its highest half-year earnings in five years, and will use some of its cash flow for share buybacks. Investors remain wary of a sector that has been hard hit by two price slumps since 2015 while facing the long-term challenge of a possible peak in oil demand and increasing government action to tackle climate change.

2. BASF reports second-quarter net profit beat on increased volumes, prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The worlds largest chemical producer BASF reported a better-than-expected second-quarter net profit as it managed to increase volumes and prices thanks to strong demand, said the company. Low commodity prices during the coronavirus pandemic weighed on BASFs earnings last year, but the German group recorded a rapid recovery so far in 2021 as the global economy picked up faster than expected. We achieved volumes growth and price increases across all regions and all segments compared with the second quarter of 2020, BASFs Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller said in a statement.

3. Crude prices continue rising on weaker US dollar and tightening inventories

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude prices extended their rally July 29, settling higher on the back of a weaker US dollar and tightening inventories, reported S&P Global. NYMEX September WTI settled USD1.23 higher at USD73.62/b and ICE September Brent moved up USD1.31 to USD76.05/b. Oil futures gleaned support from a weaker US dollar and rising risk appetite supported by a dovish tone taken by US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, analysts said. "Oil prices are surging as risk appetite runs wild following disappointing economic data that solidifies the view that the Fed won't be slowing down its ultra-accommodative stance anytime soon," OANDA analysts said in a July 29 note.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Asia, Europe, crude and gaz condensate, petrochemistry, BASF, Shell, COVID-19, USA.
Category:General News
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