International News 04/04

April 04, 2024 No. 54

OPEC oil production weakened in March 2024.

In March 2023, OPEC's oil production declined due to reduced exports from Iraq and Nigeria. OPEC produced 26.42 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, down 50,000 bpd from the previous month. The decrease in Iraqi and Nigerian oil exports is concerning as it resulted from a voluntary reduction in supply by some OPEC+ members. Iraq has pledged to reduce exports to compensate for exceeding OPEC targets, resulting in a 130,000 bpd reduction in shipments from February. Nigeria's oil production has also decreased, and the Dangote refinery has received more cargoes. As a result, OPEC's overall production fell approximately 190,000 bpd short of its production cut target for March. However, Gulf producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Algeria remained close to their voluntary targets. Iran continues to produce oil at levels near the five-year high reached in November.


Citi plans to lay off 430 employees across its New York units.

Citigroup is planning to lay off 430 employees across various divisions in New York, according to a filing with the State Department of Labor. The majority of the layoffs will affect Citibank, with 363 employees being impacted. The technology and broker-dealer sectors will also see cuts. These layoffs follow a recent company overhaul aimed at simplifying the organization and improving performance, which included reducing management layers and cutting red tape. Citigroup aims to reduce its global workforce by 20,000 over the next two years. CEO Jane Fraser has already eliminated 1,500 managerial roles, which accounts for 13% of global leaders. These changes are expected to save the bank approximately $1 billion annually. Citigroup's restructuring efforts are driven by a desire to improve profits and stock performance, which have fallen behind those of its competitors.


WTI oil prices closed up 1%, marking the highest close in 5 months.

Recently, crude oil prices rose by approximately 1%, reaching their highest level in five months for US futures contracts. This increase is driven by expectations of economic growth in the US and China, which will boost demand for oil. Additionally, supply is tightening due to production cuts by OPEC+ and attacks on Russian refineries. The June 2024 delivery contract for Brent crude oil closed up 0.5% at $87.42 per barrel, while the May 2024 delivery contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures closed up 0.7% at $83.71 per barrel, its highest closing price since October 2023. Despite growth in the manufacturing index, there are concerns about weak factory employment in the US and sluggish consumer spending. Overall, the market perceives these factors as decreasing the probability of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve.