Oil hits two-month high as US threatens Venezuela sanctions – business live

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As this chart shows, Venezuela is the third-largest exporter of oil into the US market:

The U.S. is weighing new sanctions against Venezuela by targeting its vital oil industry https://t.co/cHC3S4K6EF vía @WSJ pic.twitter.com/1BZzXP4hQK

Venezuela’s public finances have been badly hurt by the fall in the oil price a couple of years ago.

That loss of revenue has fuelled the country’s political and economic crisis, as RBC Capital Markets explain:

Many petro states have seen their finances severely strained by the oil price slump. However, no country has experienced as fast and furious fall as Venezuela has, and it now appears poised to earn the dubious distinction of being the first to fully fail. The statistics are staggering.

By the end of the 2017, the Venezuelan economy will likely have shrunk by 30% in three years. The IMF forecasts that inflation will average 720% this year and top 2,000% in 2018. Half of the population is living in extreme poverty and health officials are even starting to warn of famine if current trends continue, according to the International Crisis Group. Three months of daily demonstrations and strikes have left more than a hundred dead and thousands injured. Thousands more are languishing in jail.

Venezuela’s new assembly will give President Nicolas Maduro and his supporters “near-total” control of the levers of power, say Associated Press.

AP also report that opposition parties don’t accept the government’s claim that over 40% of the public voted:

Council president Tibisay Lucena announced just before midnight that turnout in Sunday’s vote was 41.53 percent, or 8,089,320 people.

The count was met with mockery and anger from members of the opposition, who said they believed between 2 million and 3 million people voted. One well-respected independent analysis said 3.6 million appeared to have voted.

UK foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan has tweeted that he’s “appalled” by the events in Venezuela:

Appalled by sham-democratic Constituent Assembly in #Venezuela, and yet more tragic deaths. Urgent negotiation needed to tackle crisis.

My colleague Sibylla Brodzinsky has written about the deadly clashes on the streets of Venezuela during Sunday’s voting.

Many voters decided against taking part in an election the opposition said would turn the country into a full-fledged dictatorship.

As many as 14 people died in the protests, according to opposition leader Henrique Capriles, and the prosecutor’s office confirmed at least six people were killed by gunfire, including one national guardsman. Seven policemen were wounded in an explosion in the opposition stronghold neighbourhood of Altamira.

Related: Venezuela heading for dictatorship after ‘sham’ election, warns US amid clashes

This chart shows how the Venezuela crisis has driven oil to a two-month high:

The oil price is rallying this morning, following reports that the US government could hit Venezuela with sanctions.

Brent crude has jumped to $52.85 per barrel, its highest level since late May, and US crude is back over the $50/barrel mark.

Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship. We won’t accept an illegit govt. The Venezuelan ppl & democracy will prevail.

“We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of today’s flawed election,”

“We encourage governments in the hemisphere and around the world to take strong action to hold accountable those who undermine democracy, deny human rights,bear responsibility for violence and repression, or engage in corrupt practices.

The measures, which could be announced as early as Monday, are not expected to include a ban on Venezuelan oil shipments to the United States — one of the harshest options — but could block sale of lighter U.S. crude that Venezuela mixes with its heavy crude and then exports, the officials told Reuters.

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Today we get a new healthcheck on Britain’s economy, with new figures showing how much new credit was lapped up by consumer last month, and how many people took out mortgages.

Mortgage approvals for June are set to remain steady at 65k, while net lending is expected to slow down a touch from the numbers seen in May, as declining consumer confidence and rising inflation squeezes wages, not to mention the uncertainty created by the June election result.

The pace of improvement is still gradual, due in particular to the continued sluggish performance of the French and Italian labour markets, meaning that the considerable degree of labour market slack that exists in the euro area continues to be absorbed only slowly.

Last-minute talks bid to halt first Bank of England strike in 50 years https://t.co/G84DRjU0qf

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Read the original at Economics | The Guardian.