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Apr 29, 2014

BP’s energy trading shows boost from U.S. Polar Vortex

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – BP Plc became the latest
energy company on Tuesday to show strong trading results in the
first quarter as the coldest winter in three decades in the
United States provided a boost to many power and gas dealers.

The energy major said its trading operations had helped
offset lower returns elsewhere in the group. It cited “strong
gas marketing and trading results and higher gas realizations,”
which is industry jargon for a profit increase resulting from
extraordinary volatility in gas prices.

Apr 28, 2014

Sechin’s “bourbon ban” won’t hurt Rosneft, oil traders reckon

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) – The international oil business
played down U.S. sanctions against the head of Russian energy
giant Rosneft on Monday, with traders and global
companies forecasting “business as usual”.

Igor Sechin himself responded to being penalised for the
Ukraine policies of his friend President Vladimir Putin with
sarcasm, calling it “an appreciation of our efficiency”. The
firm would go on working with foreign partners.

Apr 23, 2014

Brent oil holds above $109 on economic data, Ukraine supports

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Brent crude oil edged higher
above $109 a barrel on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected
economic data from China and Europe reinforced the outlook for
global demand growth, and as the unfolding crisis in Ukraine
deterred sellers.

Last week’s peace deal in Ukraine formally ended on
Wednesday as the government said the “Easter truce” was over,
vowing to eliminate pro-Russian militant groups in the east of
the country.

Apr 22, 2014

Barclays joins retreat from commodities as new rules bite

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will quit most of its commodities trading businesses, joining a broader retreat by banks as profits tumble in the face of tougher regulation.

The British bank’s exit means three of the top five banks in commodities have significantly reduced or shuttered their natural resource trading arms since last summer, with profits hit by regulatory demands for lenders to hold more capital to shield them against any problems.

Apr 17, 2014

Amid frigid winter, Goldman, Morgan Stanley see commodity gains

LONDON/NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs
and Morgan Stanley both cited stronger commodities
trading as a bright spot in the first quarter, aided in part by
extraordinary volatility caused by the coldest U.S. winter in
three decades.

The two longest-serving banks in the sector took on more
risk in the quarter, and may be benefiting from rivals scaling
back or quitting the raw materials trading business due to new
capital and trading regulations and slimming profit margins,
underscoring the benefits of sticking out a tough patch.

Apr 17, 2014

Goldman, Morgan report strong commodity results as rivals exit

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs and Morgan
Stanley both reported stronger net revenue in commodities
trading during the first quarter on Thursday, as the two
longest-serving banks in the sector took on more risk and
benefited from rivals scaling back.

Goldman said “significantly higher” net revenue in natural
resources trading compared with early 2013 had helped offset
lower returns across the rest of its Fixed Income and
Commodities (FICC) business, while Morgan Stanley said a “strong
performance” in commodities had helped boost FICC net revenue to
$1.7 billion from $1.5 billion.

Apr 17, 2014

Oil slips towards $109 after six-week high on Ukraine

LONDON (Reuters) – Brent crude oil slipped towards $109 a barrel on Thursday, after hitting a six-week high in the previous session, as traders assessed whether rising tensions in Ukraine could disrupt supplies from Russia.

With Russian troops massing on the border with Ukraine and three separatists killed overnight in eastern Ukraine, the prospects of defusing the crisis at talks in Geneva appeared slim.

Apr 17, 2014

Brent crude oil rises to nearly $110 on Ukraine tensions

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Brent crude rose to nearly $110
a barrel on Thursday, trading just below a six-week high hit in
the previous session, with rising tensions in Ukraine
heightening concerns over Russian supplies, and robust U.S. and
Chinese demand supporting prices.

With Russian troops massing on the border with Ukraine and
three separatists killed overnight in eastern Ukraine, the
prospects of defusing the crisis at talks in Geneva appear slim.

Apr 16, 2014

Influence of banks, hedge funds on commodities lowest since 2008

LONDON (Reuters) – United Nations economists who previously called for government intervention to tame volatile swings in commodity prices say banks and hedge funds have since reduced their influence to the lowest level since 2008.

In a 2012 report for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre said the rise of financial players in commodities markets over the previous decade had moved prices of oil and grains away from the fundamentals of supply and demand.

Apr 16, 2014

Influence of banks, hedge funds on commodities lowest since 2008

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – United Nations economists who
previously called for government intervention to tame volatile
swings in commodity prices say banks and hedge funds have since
reduced their influence to the lowest level since 2008.

In a 2012 report for the UN Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD), David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre said
the rise of financial players in commodities markets over the
previous decade had moved prices of oil and grains away from the
fundamentals of supply and demand.