Dec 7, 2018

Russia, OPEC agree to cut oil production

Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Russia and OPEC have struck a deal to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day that could make a dent in the oil supply glut, the WSJ reports. Iran scored an exemption from the cuts since it is subject to U.S. sanctions, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The agreement reached in Vienna should help prop up prices that have been largely tumbling for roughly two months, a collapse that threatened the finances of Saudi Arabia and other petro-states.

Prices climbed sharply as news of the agreement emerged Friday — by as much as 6%, and trading above $63 per barrel in London, per Bloomberg.

The big picture: Failure to reach a significant deal would have been a major setback for cartel's already diminished ability to influence global markets, which have been re-shaped by the rise of the U.S. into one of the world's three dominant producers alongside Russia and Saudi Arabia.

  • It would have also been a blow to the future of the supply management partnership between Saudi Arabia and Russia (among other OPEC and non-OPEC players) in place for the last two years.

What they're saying: "OPEC, or more precisely Saudi Arabia, has been the head honcho of the oil world for nearly six decades. Yet these days it seems unable to make a decision without Russia’s blessing, let alone without risking the wrath of the U.S. President," said PVM Oil Associates Ltd. analyst Stephen Brennock in remarks quoted by Bloomberg and the WSJ.

What's next: One thing to watch is the reaction of President Trump, who has been publicly urging OPEC not to cut production.

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Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

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World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health