Oil prices dipped in early Asian trade on Monday as rising production in the Middle East outweighed falling U.S. output and the recent slide in the dollar, which has been supporting crude.Brent futures LCOc1 were trading at $47.05 per barrel at 0028 GMT on Monday, down 32 cents from their last settlement. U.S. crude CLc1 was down 28 cents at $45.64 a barrel.Analysts said rising output from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and especially the Middle East was outweighing supportive factors such as an ongoing, albeit slow, fall in U.S. output and a sliding dollar, which makes it cheaper for countries using other currencies to import dollar-traded fuel.”The weaker dollar failed to excite investors in the crude oil markets,” ANZ bank said, citing a rise in OPEC-output as the main downward driver for prices.The dollar has fallen over 6 percent this year against a basket of other leading currencies .French bank BNP Paribas said that a recent oil rally, with prices jumping almost a third since April, was largely driven by sentiment and lacked physical fundamentals.”The recent rally in oil prices appears to have little to do with fundamentals,” it said.”We see the recent rally as sowing the seeds of its own demise, and extending our recommendation to protect against short-term downside risk.”OPEC-supplies rose to 32.64 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, from 32.47 million bpd in March, according to a Reuters survey based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants.That almost matches January’s 32.65 million bpd, when Indonesia’s return to OPEC boosted production to records.Despite Monday’s lower prices, other analysts are growing confident that a near-two-year rout in oil has ended, and many have raised their price forecasts.The chief of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said oil prices may have bottomed out, providing the health of the global economy does not pose a concern.”In a normal economic environment, we will see the price direction is rather upwards than downwards,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Sunday.Non-OPEC output is set to fall by more than 700,000 bpd this year, the biggest decline in around 20 years, he said.With global oil demand seen growing by 1.2 million bpd this year, the draw in global stockpiles will start soon, helping push up prices, he said.
Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesMeghan Markle is known for her vocal opinions. Especially when it comes to politics. The Duchess of Sussex made it quite clear how she feels about U.S. President Donald Trump. Even refusing to meet him when he came over to the U.K.Reportedly, Meghan has been warned her activism through her work as Duchess of Sussex may create “problems” for the Royal Family. It is being reported that after the Duchess of Sussex was revealed as a guest editor for Vogue issue focused on promoting female trailblazers, Meghan was warned against diving too close to the “political sphere.” Journalist Toby Young claimed the Duchess has been trying to make the Royal Family more aware of specific social issues. Meghan Markle was a popular actress in the US before her weddingAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesSpeaking to talkRADIO, Mr. Young said: “The problem is his wife clearly has a particular political agenda – she is the woke Duchess and she sees it as her life’s work to make the Royal Family woke…..For a member of the Royal Family to take such an inadvertently political stance is always a bad idea because they are funded by the taxpayers and therefore they have an obligation to remain above the political sphere.”The Royal Family has to be neutral, especially when the country is in such turmoil. The Queen herself has been decisively detached, even when it came to her thoughts on Brexit. However, Meghan Markle isn’t the first Royal to show an interest in politics. Prince Charles has tried his hand at politics too. But Meghan isn’t trying to be a politician, she is already a Royal. But perhaps, she needs to use a lighter touch when spreading awareness. She is a member of the Royal Family after all. You can check out the video here:
A man looks at a screen displaying news of markets update inside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, June 20, 2016.Reuters file [Representational Image]Asian shares turned tail on the first trading day of the new year as more disappointing economic data from China darkened the mood and erased early gains in U.S. stock futuresMSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1.1 percent as a private survey showed China manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in 19 months.The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December fell to 49.7, from 50.2 in November, and followed a raft of soft trade data from the Asian region.The Shanghai blue chip index quickly shed 1 percent and South Korea fell 0.8 percent. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.E-Mini future for the S&P 500 lost their early gains to be down 0.2 percent.The Australian dollar, often used as a proxy for China sentiment, lost 0.5 percent to its lowest since February 2016 at $0.7017.The safe-haven yen extended its broad rally as the U.S. dollar dropped to 109.53, near its lowest since June last year. The dollar was otherwise mixed, edging up a little on the euro to $1.1445 but off a shade on a basket of currencies at 96.166.The dollar has been dragged by a steep fall in Treasury yields in recent weeks as investors wagered the U.S. Federal Reserve would not raise rates again, even though it is still projecting at least two more hikes.AN END TO HIKESFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will have the chance to comment on the economic outlook when he participates in a joint discussion with former Fed chairs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke on Friday.Also looming are a closely-watched survey on U.S. manufacturing due on Thursday, followed by the December payrolls report on Friday.Fed fund futures have all but priced out any hike for this year and now imply a quarter point cut by mid-2020.The Treasury market also assumes the Fed is done and dusted. Yields on two-year paper have tumbled to 2.49 percent, just barely above the cash rate, from a peak of 2.977 percent in November.Yields on 10-year notes have dived to their lowest since last February at 2.69 percent, making a bullish break of a major chart level at 2.717 percent.The spread between two- and 10-year yields has in turn shrunk to the smallest since 2007, a flattening that has been a portent of recessions in the past.”What is clear is that the global synchronised growth story that propelled risk assets higher has come to the end of its current run,” the Treasury team at OCBC Bank wrote in a note.”Inexorably flattening yield curves and, now, partially inverted U.S. yield curve have poured cold water on further policy normalisation going ahead.”The pullback in the dollar and the chance of no more U.S. rate hikes has been a boon for gold. The precious metal fetched $1,280.40 an ounce to be close to a six-month peak.Oil prices flagged anew after a punishing 2018. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI)futures slumped nearly 25 percent last year, while Brent lost 19.5 percent.On Wednesday, U.S. crude futures eased 2 cents to $45.39 a barrel, while Brent fell 18 cents to $53.64.
An exhibition of photographs kicked off in the Capital on 1 March which blends art aficionados into the religion, culture and traditions of West Bengal. Bengal has always been known for a land where festivals are more than the seasons. All through the year there is a festive aura, as each season brings surplus of festivals along with Faith as an important aspect in the life of Bengal and its people.This exhibition inaugurated by Bhaskar Khulbe, Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of West Bengal will clutch the attention of the art lovers till 17 March. Shutterbug Sanjay Das has put up 20 photographs out of his stupendous collection of 2000 photographs in his exhibition with an aim of personifying the charm of different religion, culture and heritage budding all together in the city of joy- Kolkata. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Photographs portraying the riverine, making of gods, Buddhist monastery, Churches in Pandel, Mosques in Murshidabad are also a part of this exhibition.Das said, ‘Faith in Bengal is a mix of religious folk beliefs and practices which are imperishable. It is knitted in the highly spiritual, mystical songs of the Baul singers and Fakirs, the itinerant religious folk musicians.’ He stressed more on the photograph which discloses about the very renowned festival of Tarpan in every house of Bengal which signifies the worship of their ancestors. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Faith exists as a way of life Bengal, in its lanes and by-lanes, through its sublime culture, inherently religious people and rituals that are in harmony with nature,’ he added.Adherence and spiritualism revolves around the vibrant traditions of goddess worship in many forms such as Durga and Kali, with bountiful rituals and decorated statues. Behind the faces of goddesses and the spirit of festivals are the hands of numerous idol-makers in different regions of Bengal. Union with God is sometimes sought through Kirtan, a chant inspired singing or Sufi music whose ultimate goal is to discover the divine inner knowledge. The sound of prayer wheels and chanting of monks in the glory of the Buddhist monasteries, take life in Bengal to a realm of tranquility and solace.