“Iran Says It Won’t Cut Oil Production as Talks Remain Deadlocked”
Iran, OPEC’s third-largest oil producer, said it won’t cut output as members of the exporter group met in Vienna before a crucial summit on Wednesday.
The country isn’t prepared to reduce supply, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in the Austrian capital. Saudi Arabia is insisting that Iran and its neighbor Iraq participate in a production deal. Benchmark Brent crude dropped as much as 4.4 percent in London.
Officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are holding discussions in an attempt to resolve differences that stand in the way of an agreement to cut oil supply as crude prices remain half their mid-2014 level. Iran and Iraq have continued to resist calls to cut, making the foundations for a deal look increasingly shaky.
Iran has suggested a deal whereby it freezes production at 3.975 million barrels a day, or about 200,000 barrels a day above current output, two OPEC delegates said Monday. Saudi Arabia countered with a proposal for Iran to cap output at 3.707 million a day. Algeria, acting as a go-between, offered an alternative that would see Iran freezing at 3.795 million a day, the delegates said.
An OPEC proposal initially agreed in Algiers in September would see producers trim output by about 1.2 million barrels a day from October levels. Iran has sought special treatment since it’s ramping up output following years of sanctions.
“U.S. economy grew at a strong 3.2% in last 3 months”
It remains the best quarter of growth in two years. The solid numbers were driven by a major, one-time increase in exports led by soybeans and solid consumer spending, which makes up the majority of the economy’s activity.
The strong economic growth numbers stand in sharp contrast to the narrative of sluggish growth that President-elect Donald Trump has talked about on his campaign trail. He promises to grow the economy at 4% a year.
With the unemployment rate already very low at 4.9%, many economists doubt America can grow at that pace because it would need a major influx of workers.
However, one red flag in the economy is that businesses aren’t investing in new buildings, equipment or projects. Spending on these, long-term assets has declined for four straight quarters. Economists believe the decline was not led by the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. election but an ongoing lack of confidence in the economy’s future.
The good news on Tuesday bodes well for growth going forward. The Atlanta Federal Reserve forecasts that growth in the fourth quarter — October to December — will be 3.6%.