In the recap of this week, the most important news were the drone attacks on the Saudi oil industry, what forced a shutdown of half its crude production, amounting to a loss of 5.7M barrels a day, or roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil. Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels claimed credit for the strike at important Aramco facilities, including the world’s largest oil processing plant & a major oil field.
The U.S. government will try to mitigate any damage from the price shock from the loss of near 50% of Saudi production. U.S. oil reserves, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, contains 645 million barrels. It was established by Congress after the oil shocks following the OPEC oil embargo in the 1970’s. It has been drawn on only 3 times, most recently in June 2011, when civil unrest in Libya unsettled global oil exports.
In other news, U.S. stocks finished slightly mixed Thursday, as investors come to grips with the Federal Reserve forecasting no further interest rate cuts this year or in 2020. Lower interest rates are good for stocks, because they make it cheaper for companies to borrow money.
The Marshall Islands is proceeding with the creation of a blockchain-based national currency, the Marshallese sovereign or SOV, the country said in a statement. The country doesn’t have a starting date set yet, as officials still need to resolve compliance and regulatory issues, and work with entities like the U.S. Treasury and the International Monetary Fund.
Demonstrations for climate change in Asia & Europe;U.S. & Japan expected to finish a deal on trade tariffs; Huawei launches the smartest 5G phone;Facebook is teaming up with Luxottica to develop smart glasses; Erdogan stated that Syrian refugees could be hosted in safe zone; Dengue epidemic in The Philippines.