Nov 19, 2018

The OPEC-Russia production cut isn't a done deal

Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh (L) and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (R). Photo: Amer Hilabi/AFP via Getty Images

"Russia’s energy minister insisted the country and its allies in OPEC need to watch the oil market in the coming weeks before making any decisions to cut output," Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The Russian wavering is a sign of tricky negotiations looming in Vienna next month with OPEC and allied producers will discuss dialing back production to prop up prices, which have tumbled by roughly $20 per barrel since early October.

The intrigue: The Bloomberg piece lays out why Russian and Saudi interests are only aligned up to a point.

  • It notes that the Saudis need prices around $73 per barrel to balance their budget (Brent is trading at almost $67 this morning).
  • The other side: "In Russia, the state budget is much less dependent on oil prices than it was when the country agreed to join OPEC-led efforts to rebalance the market back in 2016."

But, but, but: "Market expectations continue to grow that OPEC+ will agree to cut production at their meeting in early December by anywhere between 1-1.4MMbbls/d," ING analysts said in a note Monday.

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  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief presents a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

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