OCTOBER 6, 2022
- Saudi Arabia is raising oil prices for US buyers, following a similar move a month ago.
- Meanwhile, state-run Saudi Aramco lowered prices in Europe and left them largely unchanged for the Asian market.
- The price moves come after OPEC+ slashed production quotas, which the White House said aligns the oil group with Russia.
The Democrats are set to introduce a 1% tax on stock buybacks as part of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.
The tax – which has been supported in the past by high-profile Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren – is unlikely to be welcomed by investors.
A buyback is when a company repurchases its own shares in the marketplace. It returns money to investors by boosting the company’s stock price, while also boosting key performance metrics such as earnings per share.
Mega-cap companies including Apple and Facebook parent Meta Platforms have been major proponents of stock buybacks in recent years.
And the top 20 S&P 500 companies spent a record $118 billion buying back their own shares in the first quarter of 2022, up 70% from the same quarter in 2021, according to index data. Over the last five years, that number rises to a staggering $1.24 trillion.
Here are the 10 companies that have spent most on stock buybacks so far this year.
Saudi Arabia is raising oil prices for the US market again, while lowering them for Europe and leaving them largely unchanged for Asia.
November shipments of Arab Light crude to Asia from state-run producer Saudi Aramco will remain steady at $5.85 per barrel above benchmark prices. A Bloomberg survey estimated prices in Asia, the kingdom’s top market, would rise by $0.40 per barrel.
Elsewhere, Saudi Aramco hiked prices by $0.20 a barrel for all US grades, while northwest Europe and the Mediterranean saw declines. While Asian prices for the company’s light oil was flat, its medium and heavy-grade crude prices ticked up in Asia by $0.25.
Last month, Saudi Aramco also lowered prices in Europe and raised them in the US.
The latest shakeup in prices comes a day after OPEC+ slashed its production quota by 2 million barrels per day, or roughly 2% of global oil supply.
The cut was seen as a defeat for President Joe Biden, who has been pressing OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia for an output boost that would ease fuel prices.
On Wednesday, the White House accused OPEC+ of “aligning with Russia” by lowering its quota, which comes at a time when “maintaining a global supply of energy is of paramount importance.”
Analysts are noting the heightened political environment of OPEC’s moves, as fresh European sanctions on Russian oil loom later this year as well as a price cap on Moscow’s crude.
“This is hugely political and a very clear signal of OPEC’s discontent regarding the price cap,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told the Financial Times. “Regardless of whether the price cap is actually effective, they see this as a dangerous precedent.”
Source /Courtesy: Markets Insider