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Dow Jones Newswires: Epsilon Energy replaces CEO, CFO in leadership shuffle

Epsilon Energy Ltd. said Jason Stabell will become the company's new chief executive and Andrew Williamson will take over as finance chief on July 1 in a leadership transition......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchJun 23rd, 2022

France & The Fraying Of NATO

France & The Fraying Of NATO Authored by Gary Leupp via Counterpunch.org, Biden has infuriated France by arranging the agreement to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. This replaces a contract to purchase a fleet of diesel-powered subs from France. Australia will have to pay penalties for breach of contract but the French capitalists will lose around 70 billion dollars. The perceived perfidy of both Canberra and Washington has caused Paris to compare Biden to Trump. The UK is third partner in the agreement so expect post-Brexit Franco-British relations to deteriorate further. This is all good, in my opinion! It’s also a good thing that Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was poorly orchestrated with the lingering “coalition partners” such as Britain, French and Germany, producing angry criticism. It’s great that the British prime minister proposed to France a “Coalition of the Willing” to continue the fight in Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal—and better that it was dead in the water. (Maybe the French better than the Brits remember the Suez Crisis of 1956, the disastrous joint Anglo-French-Israeli effort to reimpose imperialist control over the canal. Not only did it lack U.S. participation; Eisenhower rationally shut it down after warnings from the Egyptians’ Soviet advisors.) It’s good that these three countries heeded the U.S. command to uphold their NATO promise to stand with the U.S. when attacked; that they lost over 600 troops in a fruitless effort; and that in the end the U.S. didn’t see fit to even involve them in the end plans. It’s good to wake up to the fact that the U.S. imperialists could care less about their input or their lives. but only demand their obedience and sacrifice. It’s wonderful that Germany, despite obnoxious U.S. opposition, has maintained its involvement in the Nordstream II natural gas pipeline project along with Russia. The last three U.S. administrations have opposed the pipeline, claiming it weakens the NATO alliance and helps Russia (and urging purchase of more expensive U.S. energy sources instead—to enhance mutual security, don’t you see). The Cold War arguments have fallen on deaf ears. The pipeline was completed last month. Good for global free trade and for national sovereignty, and a significant European blow to U.S. hegemony. It’s great that Trump in Aug. 2019 raised the ridiculous prospect of purchasing Greenland from Denmark, indifferent to the fact that Greenland is a self-governing entity, within the Kingdom of Denmark. (It is 90% Inuit, and led by political parties pressing for greater independence.) It’s marvelous that when the Danish prime minister gently, with good humor, refused his ignorant, insulting and racist proposal, he exploded in rage and cancelled his state visit including state dinner with the queen. He offended not only the Danish state but popular opinion throughout Europe with his boorishness and colonial arrogance. Excellent. Trump personally, needlessly insulted the prime minister of Canada and the chancellor of Germany with the same childish language he’d used against political opponents. He raised questions in Europeans’ and Canadians’ minds about the value of an alliance with such vileness. That was a major historical contribution. Good also that, in Libya in 2011, Hillary Clinton working with the French and British leaders secured UN approval for a NATO mission to protect civilians in Libya. And that, when the U.S.-led mission exceeded the UN resolution and waged full-out war to topple the Libyan leader, enraging China and Russia who called out the lie, some NATO nations declined to participate or turned back in disgust. Another U.S. imperialist war based on lies creating disorder and flooding Europe with refugees. It was good only in the fact that it exposed once again the utter moral bankruptcy of the U.S.A. so widely now associated with images of Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo. All in the name of NATO. *  *  * Over the last two decades, with the Soviet Union and “communist threat” receding memories, the U.S. has systematically expanded this anti-Soviet, anti-communist postwar alliance called NATO to surround Russia. Any unprejudiced person looking at a map can understand Russia’s concern. Russia spends about a fifth of what the U.S. and NATO spend on military expenses. Russia is not a military threat to Europe or North America. So—the Russians have been asking since 1999, when Bill Clinton broke his predecessor’s promise to Gorbachev and resumed NATO expansion by adding Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia—why do you keep trying to expend to surround us? Meanwhile more and more Europeans are doubting the leadership of the United States. That means doubting the purpose and value of NATO. Formed to confront an imaginary Soviet invasion of “western” Europe, it was never deployed in war during the Cold War. Its first war indeed was the Clintons’ war on Serbia in 1999. This conflict, which severed the Serbian historical heartland from Serbia to create the new (dysfunctional) state of Kosovo, has since been repudiated by participants Spain and Greece who note that the UN resolution authorizing a “humanitarian” mission in Serbia explicitly stated that the Serbian state remain undivided. Meantime (after the bogus “Rambouillet agreement” was signed) the French foreign minister complained that the U.S. was acting like a hyper-pouissance (“hyperpower” as opposed to mere superpower). The future of NATO lies with the U.S., Germany, France and the UK. The last three were long members of the EU, which while a rival trading bloc generally coordinated policies with NATO. NATO has overlapped the EU such that virtually all of the countries admitted to the military alliance since 1989 have first joined NATO, then the EU. And within the EU—which is after all, a trading bloc that competes with North America—the UK long served as a kind of U.S. surrogate urging cooperation with Russian trade boycotts, etc. Now the U.K. has split from the EU, unavailable to, say, pressure Germany to avoid deals with the Russians Washington opposes. Good! Germany has a number of reasons to want to increase trade with Russia and has now shown the will to stand up to the U.S. Germany and France both challenged George W. Bush’s Iraq war based on lies. We should not forget how Bush (promoted lately as a statesman by the Democrats!) rivaled his successor Trump as a vulgar, lying buffoon. And if Obama seemed a hero in contrast, his magnetism ebbed as Europeans learned that they were all being monitored by the National Security Agency, and that the calls of Angela Merkel and the Pope were bugged. This was the land of freedom and democracy, always boasting about liberating Europe from the Nazis and expecting eternal payoff in the form of bases and political deference. It has been 76 years since the fall of Berlin (to the Soviets, as you know, not to the U.S.); 72 since the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); 32 since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the promise by George W. H. Bush to Gorbachev NOT to expand NATO further; 22 since the resumption of NATO expansion; 22 since the U.S.-NATO war on Serbia including the aerial bombing of Belgrade; 20 since NATO went to war at U.S. behest in Afghanistan, resulting in ruin and failure; 13 years since the U.S. recognized Kosovo as an independent country, and NATO announced the near-term admission of Ukraine and Georgia, resulting in the brief Russo-Georgia War and Russian recognition of the states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia; 10 years since the grotesque NATO mission to destroy and sew chaos in Libya, producing more terror throughout the Sahel and tribal and ethnic violence in the crumbling country, and producing more waves of refugees; 7 since the bold, bloody U.S.-backed putsch in Ukraine that placed a pro-NATO party in power, provoking the ongoing rebellion among ethnic Russians in the east and obliging Moscow to re-annex the Crimean Peninsula, inviting unprecedented ongoing U.S. sanctions and U.S. pressure on allies to comply; 5 since a malignant narcissist moron won the U.S. presidency and soon alienated allies by his pronouncements, insults, evident ignorance, a belligerent approach, raising questions in a billion minds about the mental stability and judgment of the voters of this country; 1 year since a career warmonger who has long vowed to expand and strengthen NATO, who became the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine after the 2014 coup, his mission being to clean up corruption to prepare Ukraine for NATO membership (and who is the father of Hunter Biden who famously sat on the board of Ukraine’s leading gas company 2014-2017 making millions for no apparent reason or work done) became president. 1 year since the world saw repeatedly on TV the 9 minute video of an open, public police lynching on the streets of Minneapolis, surely many among the views wondering what right this racist nation has to lecture China or anyone on human rights. 9 months since the U.S. capitol was stormed by U.S. brown shirts brandishing Confederate flags and fascist symbols and calling for the hanging of Trump’s vice president for treason. It is a long record of terrifying Europe with seemingly unstable leaders (Bush no less than Trump); harassing Europe with demands it minimizes trade with Russia and China and obey U.S. rules on Iran, and demanding participation in its imperialist wars far from the North Atlantic to Central Asia and Northern Africa. It is also a record of provoking Russia while expanding the anti-Russian juggernaut. It has meant actually using NATO militarily (as in Serbia, Afghanistan, and Libya) to cement the military alliance under U.S. direction, the stationing of 4000 U.S. troops in Poland, and threatening flights in the Baltic. Meanwhile, multiple U.S. agencies work overtime to plot “color revolutions” in the counties bordering Russia: Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine. NATO is dangerous and evil. It should be terminated. Opinion polls in Europe suggest a rise in NATO skepticism (good in itself) and opposition (better). It was already split seriously once: in 2002-2003 over the Iraq War. Indeed the manifest criminality of the Iraq War, the obvious willingness of the Americans to use disinformation, and the buffoonic personality of the U.S. president probably shocked Europe as much as the beastly Trump. The amusing thing is that Biden and Blinken, Sullivan and Austin, all seem to think none of this happened. They really seem to think that the world respects the United States as the (natural?) leader of something called the Free World —of nations committed to “democracy.” Blinken tells us and Europeans we’re confronting, “autocracy” in the form of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela all threatening us and our values. They seem think they can return to the 1950s, explain their moves as reflections of “American Exceptionalism,” posture as champions of “human rights,” cloak their interventions as “humanitarian missions,” and arm-twist their client-states into joint action. At present NATO is being pushed by Biden to identify (as it did in its last communique) the PRC as a “security threat” to Europe. But the reference to China was controversial. And NATO is divided on the matter of China. Some states do not see much of a threat and have every reason to expand ties with China, especially with the advent of the Belt and Road projects. They know that China’s GDP will soon exceed that of the U.S. and that the U.S. is not the economic superpower it was after the war when it established its hegemony over most of Europe. It has lost much of its basic strength but, like the Spanish Empire in the eighteenth century, none of its arrogance and brutality. Even after all the exposure. Even after all the shame. Biden flashing his trained smile announces “America is back!” expecting the world—especially “our allies”—to delight in the resumption of normalcy. But Biden should recall the stony silence that met Pence’s announcement at the Munich Security Conference in February 2019 when he conveyed Trump’s greetings. Do not these U.S. leaders not realize that in this century Europe’s GDP has come to match the U.S.’s? And that few people believe that the U.S. “saved” Europe from the Nazis, and then staved off the Soviet Communists, and revived Europe with the Marshall Plan, and continues to this day to protect Europe from the Russia that threatens to march west at any moment? Blinken wants to pick up and move on and lead the world forward. Back to normal! Sound, reliable U.S.leadership is back! Oh really? the French might ask. Stabbing a NATO ally in the back, sabotaging a signed $66 billion deal with far-off Australia? “Doing,” as the French foreign minister put it, “something Mr. Trump would do”? Not only France but the EU has denounced the U.S.-Australia deal. Some NATO members question how the Atlantic Alliance is served by a business dispute between members that pertains to what the Pentagon calls the “Indo-Pacific” region. And why—when the U.S. is attempting to secure NATO’s participation in a strategy of containing and provoking Beijing—it is not bothering to coordinate with France? Is Blinken unaware that France is an imperialist country with vast holdings in the Pacific? Does he know about the French naval facilities at Papeete, Tahiti, or the army, navy and air force bases in New Caledonia? The French conducted their nuclear blasts at Mururora, for god’s sake. As an imperialist country, does not France have the same right as the U.S. to gang up on China with Australia, in France’s corner of the Pacific? And if its close ally the U.S. decides to undermine the deal, should not etiquette have dictated that it at least inform its “oldest ally” about its intentions? The French condemnation of the submarines deal has been unprecedentedly sharp, in part, I imagine, due to the implicit disparagement of France as a great power. If the U.S. is urging its allies to join with it in confronting China, why does it not consult with France about an arms deal designed to do that, especially when it supplants one already openly negotiated by a NATO ally? Isn’t it clear that Biden’s appeals for “alliance unity” mean uniting, behind U.S. leadership around preparations for war on China? Gradually NATO is fraying. Again, this is a very good thing. I had worried that Biden would quickly work to integrate Ukraine into the alliance, but Merkel seems to have told him no. Europeans don’t want to be dragged into another U.S. war, especially against their great neighbor whom they know much better than Americans and have every reason to befriend. France and Germany, who (recall) opposed the U.S. war-based-on-lies on Iraq in 2003, are finally losing patience with the alliance and wondering what membership means other than joining with the U.S. in its quarrels with Russia and China. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/07/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 7th, 2021

Rebel Tory backbenchers plotting "more organised" attack on Boris Johnson amid fresh rumours of early election

Backbenchers are now more more coordinated after the failed vote of no confidence But concerns Johnson could trigger an early election linger. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.Jacob King/PA/Getty Images Rebel Tories are planning a more organised approach to oust Johnson after failing to dislodge him, sources say. The vote of no confidence, which Johnson narrowly won, came about by disparate groups of MPs. Now backbenchers are more coordinated — but concerns Johnson could trigger an early election linger. Rebel Conservative backbenchers are plotting a "more organised" attack on Boris Johnson, sources say, despite fresh rumours of early election that could yet thwart their plans.Tories in the 80 most marginal seats in the UK were asked to file their campaign plans for a general election with CCHQ on Thursday. The request came during an away day for a "target seats launch event" held in May. Although long-planned, the move has reignited concerns among backbenchers that Boris Johnson could call a snap vote this autumn, potentially putting marginal MPs at risk of losing their seats in the hope of maintaining an overall majority. One backbencher told Insider: "He's going to go for an Oct. 27 election … Why are we sitting an extra week in September? We normally do two weeks. This time it's three. So what is that third week for if not wash up?"The wash-up period refers to a period of time before parliament dissolves where MPs hurry through unfinished legislation.Another MP said Tories were "on standby for an election anytime from September," noting that it was more likely "if they go for the PM."He added: "It may not happen until May 2024, but we will be ready to rock and roll as a party by the end of summer in our seats…  loads of us already are."Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke told GB News an early election was a viable prospect because "we have got such a trial coming towards us" and it would "draw the line" under partygate and other matters. Speaking to journalists at the NATO summit on Wednesday, Johnson refused three times to rule out a snap election, saying: "I don't comment on those sorts of things" and "I am not offering commentary" as he insisted he was "here to comment on policy, on the agenda of government."However, one of the rebel MPs that prompted last month's vote of no confidence told Insider Johnson's remark was a "red herring," potentially being put about as a "scare tactic" to rally support behind the prime minister.  The MP said there was recognition that "if people want to be effective, we have to be more organised," suggesting that another confidence vote may take place following what he called a "beauty contest" of leadership hopefuls during autumn's party conference.  His comments about the party conference echoed those made by colleagues following Johnson's decision to pull out of a conference with northern MPs, angering some who had expected him to show up.Backbenchers who make up the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs are expected to be heavily courted, having given Johnson the benefit of the doubt in the last vote.Would-be rivals Tom Tugendhat MP and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have already begun the charm offensive, and others including ministers Penny Mordaunt, Ben Wallace, Liz Truss, and Nadhim Zahawi are active behind the scenes, sources said. Urging Cabinet ministers to act, the MP played down an oft-quoted adage that "he who wields the knife never wears the crown," saying: "The knife has already been wielded — by several groups of colleagues who voted against him."The party conference is not the only critical point facing the prime minister this autumn, with the privileges committee report into whether Johnson deliberately misled Parliament now underway and expected to report back later this year.Johnson has also pushed back a planned reshuffle until autumn, according to a Times of London report, which sources interpreted as a tacit acknowledgement of his precarious position.The economic situation is also expected to get worse, with inflation predicted to peak at 11% and the energy price cap due to rise again in October. But triggering an early election is seen as a highly risky move, after the Conservatives lost both Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton in by-elections earlier this month. Recent polling seen by Insider has suggested that even Johnson himself may be at risk of losing his seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip. That led one MP to speculate the prime minister would "do the chicken run" and go for a safe seat that is being vacated. While the party is currently without a lead party chairman, following Oliver Dowden's resignation over the by-election results, various names are circulating as possible replacements. Nigel Adams, a minister without portfolio who led the shadow whipping operation earlier this year, is seen by sources as a top contender, though he has ruled himself out, The Telegraph reported. Other names in the frame, according to the paper, include Stephen McPartland and Rob Halfon. The latter previously served as Conservative Party deputy chairman.It is not clear whether Ben Elliot, who is currently party co-chairman, will remain following criticism from senior backbenchers over his links with Russia. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider2 hr. 27 min. ago

How Representative Is The G7 Of The World It"s Trying To Lead?

How Representative Is The G7 Of The World It's Trying To Lead? The leaders of some of the world’s wealthiest democracies assembled in the Bavarian Alps on Sunday, where the 48th G7 Summit takes place from June 26 to June 28. The summit kicked off with a series of bilateral meetings on Sunday, before the bloc’s leaders will jointly discuss the most pressing global issues on Monday. That includes the Russian invasion of Ukraine, surging food and energy prices, Covid-19, the world economy as well as the climate crisis at a time not short on global challenges. While the Group of Seven, as the G7 is officially called, still claims a global leadership role, Statista's Felix Richter notes that some experts are questioning the bloc’s relevance against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving global economy. In 2018, Jim O’Neill and Alessio Terzi wrote that the G7, “in its current formulation, no longer has a reason to exist, and it should be replaced with a more representative group of countries.” They called for a revised G7 group, which would replace Germany, France and Italy with a common Eurozone representative, swap Canada for Brazil and most importantly add China and India, making it more representative economically and in population terms without adding more seats to the table. As the following chart shows, the G7 countries currently represent 43 percent of the world economy, down from nearly 70 percent three decades ago. You will find more infographics at Statista In terms of population, the bloc is even less representative with its member countries accounting for less than 10 percent of the world’s people, according to latest estimates from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Despite these numbers, proponents of the G7 think the group still has value. “It’s sort of a manageable steering group of the West,” Stewart M. Patrick, Senior Fellow in at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) says. “They’re a repository, an embodiment of common values and a similar rules-based approach to world order.” Tyler Durden Wed, 06/29/2022 - 06:55.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 29th, 2022

PepsiCo"s world-class ESG agenda is centered on supporting people, communities, and the entire packaged goods industry

"Our governance starts at the top of PepsiCo," Anna Palazij, the company's vice president of ESG reporting and strategic investments, said. Kazi Awal/Insider"Our governance starts at the top of PepsiCo," Anna Palazij, PepsiCo's vice president of ESG reporting and strategic investments, said.PepsiCo For years, PepsiCo has been a leader in the ESG space. The company has aggressive sustainability goals over the next decade. Here's how the company is planning to bolster sustainability internally, and throughout the industry. This article is part of the "Financing a Sustainable Future" series exploring how companies take steps toward funding and setting their own sustainable goals. PepsiCo — the parent company of iconic brands like Pepsi, Lay's, Gatorade, and Quaker Old Fashioned Oats — has been committed to environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, initiatives for several years. In 2021, the consumer packaged goods company expanded that commitment with the debut of PepsiCo Positive, a strategic sustainability and governance plan focusing on three pillars: agriculture, value chain, and choices. "It's a strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability and human capital at the center," Anna Palazij, PepsiCo's vice president of ESG reporting and strategic investments, told Insider. "What we're trying to do is transform the way we source our products in a more sustainable way, how we manufacture our products, and how we bring them to consumers." PepsiCo has been a leader in the ESG space. The company recently ranked second on the 2022 list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media, and it's made the list every year since 2009. Palazij said PepsiCo Positive aims to drive growth internally and throughout the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Expanding its ESG commitment comes as investors, suppliers, stakeholders, and customers are asking for more commitments on sustainability. The CPG industry is also feeling strained through droughts and hotter temperatures. Governance is crucial to all of this because it ensures companies are setting goals, tracking performance, and reporting to stakeholders to ensure accountability.  "We knew that now was the time to act, and we felt a responsibility and an opportunity," Palazij said. PepsiCo has been a leader in the ESG space.Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty ImagesPepsiCo Positive is a standalone ESG program to help the company grow and become more resilient for the future. It's embedded into the company's overall financial framework, Palazij said. PepsiCo issued a $1 billion green bond in 2019 to produce a more sustainable food system by focusing on better packaging, decarbonization of operations and supply chain, and water sustainability. At the end of 2020, PepsiCo had distributed $858 million of the bond, which had helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use and improve energy efficiency. Here's a look at how PepsiCo is transforming its business operations to produce products more sustainably. Sustainability and governance are interconnectedGovernance is intertwined with PepsiCo's ESG goal-setting and progress reporting.PepsiCo aligns its sustainability efforts with the Science-Based Targets initiative, which ensures it's meeting ambitious goals that follow the latest climate science. For example, the company plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 — meaning the greenhouse gas emissions produced are balanced with emission reductions — and be net water positive by 2030, in which the company will replenish more water than it uses. In 2020, PepsiCo achieved 100% renewable electricity in its US operations, which is the company's largest market, and plans to expand that to 15 countries by the end of 2021. Progress on sustainability is reviewed by the Executive Council, which comprises members of the executive leadership team. "Our governance starts at the top of PepsiCo," Palazij said, adding that executive compensation is tied to sustainability performance and progress. PepsiCo regularly shares progress on ESG initiatives with stakeholders, including investors and consumers. The company provides updates on its website, where it lists details for more than 50 ESG topics, including environmental impact, people, product and nutrition, and ethics and governance."We continue to look at what's needed to be transparent and tell our story, but in an authentic and transparent way, and we align our reporting to that," Palazij said.Supporting people and communities is central to the value chain commitment Creating a safe and equitable environment for employees, the communities it reaches, and everyone involved in its supply chain is a key part of PepsiCo's initiatives. "People are such an important part of PepsiCo and sustainability as a whole, and ultimately our PepsiCo Positive agenda looks at how we drive better outcomes for people and the planet," Palazij said. And that spans the full value chain from the farmers who grow the crops to the consumers who enjoy them. Anna Palazij is PepsiCo's vice president of ESG reporting and strategic investments.PepsiCoPepsiCo plans to expand regenerative farming across 7 million acres and so far has rolled out regenerative farming on 345,000 acres. The company, Palazij said, is committed to improving the livelihood of the 250,000 people in its agriculture supply chain through partnerships with the National Black Growers Council and the US Agency for International Development. PepsiCo plans to sustainably source 100% of ingredients, like oats and potatoes — a goal it's already achieved in some countries. The company also hopes to provide safe water access to 100 million people by 2030, and Palazij said the company now delivers water to 68 million people globally. Building diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces across the company is part of its commitment to people. In 2020, PepsiCo launched the Racial Equity Journey with plans to invest $570 million in the next five years to support Black and Hispanic businesses and communities. PepsiCo also pledged $100 million through 2025 to support opportunities for women in the workforce. Driving ESG innovation to improve the packaged goods industry PepsiCo's recognition for its ESG initiatives helps validate the value of the company's work and shows that it's resonating with stakeholders and others in the industry, Palazij said.  The company seeks to drive innovation in sustainability through its PepsiCo Labs program, which works with venture capital to identify new technology to help accelerate its sustainability agenda. PepsiCo champions innovation from competitors, which ultimately improves the CPG sector as a whole. "Consumers consume our products more than a billion times a day, so we have a unique opportunity from a size and scale standpoint to transform," Palazij said. "We think that is both an obligation and an opportunity to change the way business is done. It goes beyond the competition with others because we want everyone engaged in this collaboration."  @media (min-width: 960px) { #piano-inline-content-wrapper .content-header .figure.image-figure-image { min-width: 100%; margin-left: 0; } } Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

US stocks fall after choppy session as markets fail to follow up on big weekly rebound

As Moscow defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time since 1918, G7 leaders discussed a possible price cap on Russian oil. Friday's inflation print shocked investors.Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images US stocks finished a choppy session lower on Monday after rebounding sharply last week. Oil prices rose amid efforts by G7 countries to try to cap the price that importers pay for Russian crude. Bitcoin slipped as crypto hedge fund Three Arrow Capital defaulted on a loan. US stocks finished a choppy session lower on Monday after rebounding sharply last week, while investors look to the final trading days of the second quarter.Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 5.4%, the S&P 500 gained 6.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 7.5%. The indexes appeared to carry that positive momentum into early trade on Monday, but they eventually turned lower in a volatile session.Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Monday:  S&P 500: 3,900.35, down 0.29%Dow Jones Industrial Average: 31,439.58, down 0.19% (61.10 points)Nasdaq Composite: 11,506.59, down 0.88% As Moscow defaulted on its sovereign debt for the first time since 1918, G7 leaders discussed a possible price cap on Russian oil as a way to further squeeze Moscow, which is continuing to reap hefty energy revenues. Oil shippers are using several tactics to conceal that their crude cargoes are from Russia, including using China's yuan instead of the dollar The People's Bank of China is building a yuan reserve with five other nations in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements, as Beijing continues to challenge the dollar's leadership in global finance.Amid the bitcoin crash, Coinbase stock fell as much as 11% after Goldman Sachs downgraded the crypto exchange to "Sell" from "Neutral" and set a $45 price target, implying potential downside of 23%.Elsewhere, cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrow Capital defaulted on a $650 million loan, highlighting liquidity problems in the sector.Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corporation, the special purpose acquisition company planning to take former president Donald Trump's social media platform public, slid 10% as the company announced subpoenas had been issued for some members of its board. Oil prices rallied, with West Texas Intermediate crude up 1.96% to $109.73 per barrel and Brent crude, the international benchmark, up 1.79% to $115.10. Gold dipped 0.32% to $1,824.40 per ounce. The 10-year yield rose 7 basis points to 3.19%. Bitcoin slipped 1.92% to $20,850.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 27th, 2022

GE Aviation unveils leadership changes ahead of spin out

GE Aviation is set to undergo a series of leadership changes as its parent company, General Electric, works to spin off its health care and energy businesses into their own publicly traded companies......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 27th, 2022

Aiming for net-zero emissions could help the global offset market swell to $35 billion by 2030. Morgan Stanley analysts explain how the world could go carbon neutral.

The analysts said yearly CO2 removal would have to double, to roughly 1 gigaton, by 2030 if the world economy is to reach net-zero emissions. Kazi Awal/InsiderA modern chemical plant with large-scale solar-power plants.Yaorusheng/Getty Images Morgan Stanley analysts say the market for carbon offsets could swell to $35 billion by 2030. They said yearly CO2 removal would need to double by 2030 for the world to reach net zero in 2050. This article is part of the "Making Net Zero Possible" series uncovering forward-thinking solutions that can make a net-zero future a reality. Reaching global net-zero emissions requires a massive effort from private industry, but there'll be plenty of money to go around for those who chip in, according to Morgan Stanley.The fight against the climate crisis is being fought on several fronts. Century-old automakers are rushing to electrify their fleets and compete with newer rivals like Tesla and Rivian. Electronics companies are removing items like wall plugs from their packaging in the name of sustainability. Nike and Adidas sell shoes made from recycled plastics and factory scraps.But not all companies can reach net zero on their own. That's where carbon offsetting comes in. The practice allows firms to buy credits from less carbon-intensive companies and organizations to cancel out their own emissions, effectively bringing them closer to net zero. Offsetting methods include reforestation projects and renewable-energy sources like wind turbines and dams.Morgan Stanley analysts led by Lucy Beauvallet said in a note to clients that while the market for offset credits would play a critical role in reaching net zero around the world, it's still far too small to make a sizeable difference. According to the bank's estimates, yearly removals would need to double, to about 1 gigaton of CO2, by 2030 and accelerate to a 5-gigaton annual pace by 2050 for the world to reach net zero by that time.Morgan StanleyThat would drive rapid growth in the offset industry, the team said. The bank sees the market expanding at a compound annual rate of 36% and reaching a valuation of $35 billion by 2030. That sum could reach $50 billion in the "most optimistic scenario," the analysts added.The bank's net-zero scenario would emerge in two stages. In the first phase of offsetting, through 2030, most carbon removal would derive from nature-based methods. Research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that nearly half of all offsetting in 2020 came from forestry and land-use practices, and about half of that came from efforts to stop deforestation.The Morgan Stanley team said that while reforestation and other land-use offsetting methods are capable of "creating a strong carbon sink," they come with drawbacks. Competition over land, negative effects on soil, and carbon leakage — when emissions reduction in one country leads to an increase in another — can get in the way of long-term offsetting.As such, Morgan Stanley predicted that technology-based offsetting would outpace nature-based solutions after 2030. The team said offsets including renewable-energy sources, carbon capture, and direct air capture should be more efficient by then and lack the risks of methods that require large swaths of land. But such tech doesn't exist in scalable form, and more investment is needed before it can replace nature-based offsets.The bank's outlook relies on a variety of assumptions. Governments could take stricter stances on mandatory offsetting regulations, which could accelerate the market's growth and pull forward the projected date for a net-zero economy. Corporations' commitment to offsetting emissions could waver, though the analysts said there is "evidence of incremental demand" as companies look to show climate leadership. Offsetting methods' prices could also change dramatically depending on the cost of land, biomass, facilities, and carbon-capture technology.Still, the early signs hint that the offset market is on the verge of a growth spurt. With the climate crisis posing an existential threat to the global economy, methods for countering emissions are likely to explode in popularity.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 27th, 2022

Luongo: The End Of The European Colonial Powers & The Tyranny Of Physics

Luongo: The End Of The European Colonial Powers & The Tyranny Of Physics Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog. I sat down last weekend for a long chat with Alexander Mercouris of The Duran and Crypto Rich to discuss the rapidly evolving situation in Europe. Long time readers know that I’ve been handicapping the collapse of the European Union for years. That idea isn’t based on my personal antipathy for Eurotrash commies and eugenicists, though it is quite large. In fact, the deeper we go into 2022 the more that antipathy rises to near unquenchable levels. The sheer arrogance and stupidity of Europe’s leadership is nothing short of breathtaking. Today we are looking at a situation where an entire continent’s leadership is in the process of committing ritualistic suicide and yet is obsessed with portraying these self-inflicted wounds to the world as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fault. A common trait among all malignant narcissists is the inability to take any responsibility for their own actions, seeking to always shift blame onto someone else. You see this behavior in children. And it only manifests itself in adulthood because the parents refused to put any boundaries on the child or inflict any consequences on them. Look at Europe’s leaders today and to a person, man or woman, there is not one shred of self-reflection or contrition. The problem is just as endemic here amongst the Davos-affiliated American leadership. Fungal President Joe Biden keep yammering on about the “Putin Price Hike” or blaming oil companies for not being patriotic enough to keep gas and diesel prices affordable for nearly every American. But it was just a few weeks ago where these same people were telling us that we had to endure slightly higher prices at the pump to starve Russia and defend Ukraine. Biden and his party apparatchiks simply can’t give this idea up as we’re now just over four months to the mid-term elections. Biden to companies that run gas pumps: "This is a time of war. Global peril. Ukraine. These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product. Do it now. Do it today." pic.twitter.com/1SCACLd8YO — Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 22, 2022 I already told you what the real cost at the pump is all about, RINs, renewable offset blending credits, which are strangling small refiners. But in Europe the real story is beyond comprehension. It can be summed up in the following meme: And yet if you listen to Europe’s leadership what are they talking about? Expanding NATO to include Finland and Sweden. Backing Lithuania’s disastrous blockade of overland goods into Kaliningrad, in clear violation of that country’s treaty with Russia. The EU parliament and the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy all backing Ukraine’s invitation into the bloc. These are all to which Russia will correctly respond with shifting its exports East rather than West and put paid Putin’s words from his speech at SPIEF 2022 last week. “The European Union has lost its political sovereignty, and its bureaucratic elites are dancing to someone else’s tune, doing everything they are told from on high and hurting their own people, economies, and businesses.” The whole speech is worth your time and the best highlight reel is this Twitter thread, not for what it implies for crypto, as the author implies, but for humanity in general. Debt is a slave’s system. It’s not real wealth, only the pretense of wealth. The big takeaway is exactly what I’ve been talking about on this blog for years: The end of sovereign debt as the basis for global reserves. The world will move, quickly, towards a commodity-backed monetary standard, where some form of discipline will be enforced on governments, who are torching their credibility by the day, because of reality. Real wealth is in things which sustain your life. Eventually physics and the limitations of time catch up with every central planner and their grand dreams of global domination. The tyranny they decry isn’t racism, a lack of tolerance or even tribalism, it is simply math and the physics of energy production. That is Putin’s big crime, reminding everyone of this basic fact. The narcissists who try to blame him for their woes will never admit they were wrong. They would rather continue manipulating events to steer the world towards the unthinkable blaming him and us for not bowing to their wisdom. Listen to them carefully and all you will hear is, “It’s not my fault!” But it is. Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 27th, 2022

6 LinkedIn Automation Tools for Lead Generation That You Should Try

Everyone needs a source of energy to sustain life and stay productive. A person needs food, cars need fuel, Instagram bloggers need likes, and businesses need leads. But to get such “nutrition”, you need to constantly act: buy food for cooking, come to the gas station, write posts. The same thing happens with leads: to […] Everyone needs a source of energy to sustain life and stay productive. A person needs food, cars need fuel, Instagram bloggers need likes, and businesses need leads. But to get such “nutrition”, you need to constantly act: buy food for cooking, come to the gas station, write posts. The same thing happens with leads: to find them and close a deal, you need to perform an extensive search. Only then you will find the right customers who will be interested in the product and buy it. LinkedIn, a network with 750 million followers, is a perfect place to reach your marketing goals. Let’s talk about LinkedIn automation tools that provide a 24/7 business presence on the site and speed up customer search. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more LinkedIn Automation: How Does It Function? To “catch” potential customers on LinkedIn, a marketer needs to perform four main operations. They must: visit the profile of a company representative; analyze the page of a potential client; be added to the contact list of an influential decision-maker; send a message that favorably advertises a product or service. LinkedIn automation tools for lead generation streamline these activities by mimicking the behavior of a marketer online. But unlike a human, a program works around the clock. The application not only saves time but also collects valuable information for organizing personalized and meaningful marketing campaigns. Marketers use two types of automation software: Google Chrome extensions and cloud apps. The first ones are downloaded from the Google store, connected to a LinkedIn account, and work on the page. Some robots “act” in real time, preventing a person from using their page. Others work in the background without limiting the marketer’s actions. A program performs tasks according to a given scenario while a user is browsing pages. Cloud applications are installed on the user's computer, but all actions technically take place from a remote PC via the cloud. It turns out that a marketer can work in Belgium, but parse leads from the USA. LinkedIn considers such procedures suspicious, so specialists often have to set up a proxy server so that the cloud and country IP addresses match. Despite technical nuances, such a program will work even when the computer is turned off. Lead generation automation tools “communicate” with contacts by sending them automated messages. Programs allow connecting with thousands of potential customers, which will lead them to purchase products. If you send out so many emails manually, LinkedIn may ban your account due to spam. Automation apps protect you from being blocked and allow you to complete your marketing tasks as rapidly as your company needs. 6 Best LinkedIn Automation Tools for Lead Generation Running a business is easier when a special program takes over lead generation: Marketers are focused on completing sales, and not on finding potential buyers; Programs find customers faster than a human and provide accurate contact details; Managers have time to analyze and compare marketing campaigns; A business is more likely to “hit the target”, expand and scale the enterprise; Programs exclude human errors. “The best”, however, is a very subjective concept. We will try to stay objective when giving an overview of popular lead automation software. Let’s take a look at six platforms with a user-friendly interface, useful functionality, and wide integration with other marketing services. Sales Navigator, An Invaluable Addition To LinkedIn The platform has already taken care of marketers by offering an internal tool for increasing sales - Sales Navigator. It allows you to find customers in your niche, receive important marketing information, and build strong relationships with potential buyers. The peculiarity of the application is that it allows marketers to send up to 30 messages per month to people who are not on their contact list. For users, this is an excellent opportunity, given that the platform has limitations. It is impossible to send messages to users outside your list of contacts. Sales Navigator is also unique because: it allows setting marketing preferences: the company’s industry, location, and size; offers advanced lead search with detailed filtering; helps to quickly find decision-makers in the company, who are more likely to be interested in the product; integrates with CRM to conveniently manage leads; replaces external analytics tools, helping to compare the results of marketing campaigns. Ashley Evans, Global Sales Enablement Director at Transmission, notes the exclusivity of Sales Navigator in his blog. He states that “LinkedIn has transformed SN from simply a hunter/gatherer tool to a very robust piece of martech that should be central to your stack and your strategic planning framework”. More than 3,000 firms use Sales Navigator and speak positively about it. Source: artplusmarketing.com Expandi Cloud Application The creators of the program call Expandi one of the safest applications for working with LinkedIn. The developers have limited the number of simultaneous connection requests and provided intervals for sending messages to simulate human behavior. The system offers the function of excluding holidays from the parsing schedule so that account activity does not arouse suspicion. Thanks to such a mechanism, LinkedIn will not ban the account of a marketer. Source: expandi.io Advantages of Expandi: it allows initiating multiple marketing campaigns from one account; integrates with such marketing tools as CRM, Zapier, and so on; has an auto warmup function: the number of daily connection requests and messages depends on the status and “age” of the profile; offers an extended list of filters in the smart inbox for incoming messages; supports dynamic personalization of messages, providing an 83% response rate; provides dedicated and local IP addresses to work from the same country. All this makes Expandi one of the best tools for growth marketers, recruiters, startup founders, and agency owners. The service has performed well and more than 12,000 companies use it to improve their marketing campaign. Phantombuster "Ghost" Assistant Phantombuster is one of those programs that help businesses to develop faster. The application becomes a "deputy" marketer on the LinkedIn network with one difference: it works around the clock. It automatically follows target profiles, likes posts, sends messages at a set interval, and performs other useful tasks. Data collection takes place in the cloud, so the program works even when the computer is turned off. A marketer needs to set the pace and trigger actions once, and they will perform automatically. Application phantoms take on valuable business functions: Network Booster automatically sends a request to establish a connection in a couple of minutes and expands the list of friends on LinkedIn; Profile Scraper extracts useful information from thousands of profiles (name, position, interest in a particular product); Message Sender is responsible for correspondence with first-level contacts; Auto Commenter/Liker comments and likes posts of target customers. These and other features make Phantombuster extremely popular among sales, marketing and development teams around the world. Source: g2.com Dux-Soup Browser Plugin This extremely simple built-in browser tool is suitable for beginners and advanced users who use LinkedIn for business purposes. To collect a client base, you only need to visit the target profiles, and the service will automatically copy them to a CSV file. The plugin will extract valuable information from the pages, such as phone number, email address, company name, location, and other details. Dux-Soup simplifies lead generation in the following way: it forms a database of target customers; downloads detailed information from LinkedIn profiles; integrates with CRM; automates profile visits and communication with customers; launches email and LinkedIn campaigns with active customer support; tags potential customers to keep in touch and know at what stage of interaction the marketer and the client are; supports advanced filtering by keywords (applicant, influencer, CEO, and others). Dux-Soup regularly publishes new user guides. The system takes into account the algorithms and programs for detecting bots, therefore, it guarantees that the marketer's profile will not be blocked. This is one of the reasons why over 70,000 people use Dux-Soup. Judging by the user reviews published on the official website of the service, in some cases, the application increases sales by seven times and provides up to 70% of the responses of potential customers. Source: octopuscrm.io MeetAlfred Professional Networking Tool MeetAlfred also offers secure lead generation automation that is compliant with LinkedIn policies. The program performs standard tasks of marketers such as profile views, sending invitations, and creating and sending personalized messages. The tool allows marketers to: adjust responses to messages from potential customers depending on their content; imitate human behavior so that it would be interesting for the target contact to maintain a dialogue; adhere to business ethics, congratulating contacts from the network on their birthday or professional anniversary; track the progress of the marketing campaign to improve the strategy; adjust the number and frequency of actions with specific clients; manage contacts through the built-in CRM and group them by filters, tags, and notes. MeetAlfread is considered one of the most “responsive” services that stimulate customer interest through personalization. Simple convenient functionality, the ability to save up to 10 hours of working time per week and increase the response rate by 10 times make MeetAlfred an indispensable assistant for more than 80,000 active users. Source: dripify.io WeConnect For Smart Lead Search The creators of the WeConnect cloud tool propose to abandon the mass mailing of invitations in favor of smart customer search. The program allows you to properly build communication depending on the response of a person and increase the percentage of transactions: the platform offers seven ways to interact with customers: invite a contact, report first connections, visit a profile, endorse skills, InMails, send messages to members of groups, auto-subscribe; the program allows you to set up campaigns based on smart sequences. For example, before an invitation, view a profile, like a post, and then send a contact request. If the person accepted it, send a message; if they rejected it - visit the profile and like some posts or a skill; the cloud application has a dedicated IP address and performs actions at a set-up frequency so that LinkedIn does not mistake the marketer's actions for spam. WeConnect supports about 60 features that are constantly updated based on user feedback. Having checked the trial version of the program, more than 4,000 marketers have started to use this tool regularly. Source: pearllemonreviews.co Lead Generation Automation: The Future Of Potential Client Search LinkedIn is a fount of business contacts, a public database waiting to be used. More than 750 million profiles are registered on the platform with detailed indications of the place, industry, position, and other data. The percentage of responses to letters sent via the business network is 300% higher than by email. In addition, LinkedIn states that 50% of platform members are more likely to buy a product from a company they interact with online. The possibilities for building relationships with clients are endless. The main thing is to use these opportunities correctly to build a win-win marketing strategy. For example, using a suitable automation tool such as Sales Navigator, Expandi, Phantombuster, Dux-Soup, or others. A program will help you to find thousands of potential customers, without the need to contact each of them. Thus, you won’t lose them among numerous contacts and bring a lead to a purchase. It would take at least half a year to do this manually, given that LinkedIn allows you to send out up to 100 invitations per week. Marketers are often ahead of their sales schedule because LinkedIn automation tools find relevant customers. Using a cloud assistant and browser plugins, managers fill a sales funnel with quality leads who are more likely to buy products. Thanks to automation software, this work takes less effort than with the standard approach. Marketers have more time to think through the strategy: how to communicate with people so as not to put them off. With the help of automation platforms for lead generation, sellers will attract more leads and accelerate business growth. About the Author My name is Alexandr Khomich, and I data with a diverse set of interests across machine learning, finance, and technology. Currently, I work as a CEO at Andersen. Being a part of the IT family for years, I aim at transforming IT processes in support of business transformation. Updated on Jun 24, 2022, 3:15 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 24th, 2022

CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC PROVIDES SECOND QUARTER 2022 BUSINESS UPDATE

MIAMI, June 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Corporation & plc ((NYSE/LSE: CCL, NYSE:CUK) provides second quarter 2022 business update. U.S. GAAP net loss of $1.8 billion and adjusted net loss of $1.9 billion for the second quarter of 2022. Cash from operations turned positive in the second quarter of 2022. Second quarter 2022 ended with $7.5 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the company's revolving credit facility. Revenue increased by nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to first quarter 2022, reflecting continued sequential improvement. For the cruise segments, revenue per passenger cruise day ("PCD") for the second quarter of 2022 decreased slightly compared to a strong 2019. Occupancy in the second quarter of 2022 was 69%, an increase from 54% in the prior quarter. Customer deposits increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022 from $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022. As of June 24, 2022, 91% of the company's capacity is in guest cruise operation. Booking volumes for all future sailings during the second quarter of 2022 were nearly double the booking volumes during the first quarter of 2022; the company notes these were its best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic. As previously announced, effective August 1st, Arnold Donald, President and CEO, is being appointed Vice Chair of the Boards of Directors. Josh Weinstein, currently Chief Operations Officer for the company, will assume the role of President and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. At that time, Weinstein will also assume the role of Chief Climate Officer and become a Director on the Boards of Directors. A 20-year veteran of Carnival Corporation & plc, Weinstein has a long history of success in critical senior-level roles in the company. In his most recent assignment for the past two years as Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Operations Officer, Weinstein oversaw several major operational functions including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global internal audit. During this time, he also oversaw Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard, which he previously managed directly for three years as president. Prior to his role with Carnival UK, Weinstein was treasurer for the company for 10 years and an attorney in the corporate legal department for five years. Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald noted, "With cash from operations turning positive and the company heading in the right direction, now is the time to transition leadership to the next generation. Josh Weinstein has the skill set ideally suited to take this company forward, including strong operating experience and in-depth industry knowledge cultivated over the past two decades. I am confident our positive momentum will continue under Josh's leadership and I remain confident in the long-term future of our company." Carnival Corporation & plc's next President and CEO Josh Weinstein noted, "I am honored to lead this company as we push forward with a relentless long-term focus on driving revenue and returns to improve our balance sheet, while ensuring each brand provides an authentic cruise experience that resonates with their unique guest base, delivering value for our shareholders and our other many stakeholders." Weinstein added, "It is truly humbling to support our exceptionally talented team—150,000 strong ship and shore—in this effort. They've accomplished so much during our restart, with incredible determination, perseverance and integrity. This gives me tremendous confidence and optimism about our future." Second Quarter 2022 Results and Statistical Information Revenue increased by nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to first quarter 2022, reflecting continued sequential improvement. For the cruise segments, revenue per PCD for the second quarter of 2022 decreased slightly compared to a strong 2019. Onboard and other revenue per PCD for the second quarter of 2022 increased significantly compared to a strong 2019. Occupancy in the second quarter of 2022 was 69%, an increase from 54% in the prior quarter. Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the second quarter of 2022 were 16.7 million, which represents 74% of total fleet capacity, increasing from 60% in the first quarter of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2022 was $(0.9) billion, an improvement over the first quarter of 2022. Total customer deposits increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022 from $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022. Cash from operations turned positive in April and was positive for the second quarter of 2022. During the second quarter of 2022, the company issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2030, intended to refinance various 2023 debt maturities and invested $0.5 billion in capital expenditures. In addition, the company repaid $0.2 billion of debt principal and incurred $0.4 billion of interest expense, net during the quarter. The company ended the second quarter of 2022 with $7.5 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the revolving credit facility. Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations Donald noted, "We are aggressively, yet thoughtfully, ramping up to full operations with over 90 percent of the fleet now in service. We are driving occupancy higher, while at the same time significantly increasing available capacity, resulting in a nearly 50 percent sequential improvement in revenue in the second quarter, despite facing constantly changing and far more restrictive protocols than broader society and travel at large." Donald added, "Carnival Cruise Line, our largest brand, achieved consistently positive adjusted EBITDA beginning in March. Carnival Cruise Line also became our first brand to sail its entire fleet in May and is expecting occupancy to approach 110 percent during our third quarter." As of June 24, 2022, 91% of the company's capacity is in guest cruise operation as part of its ongoing return to service. Five of the company's nine brands now have their entire fleet back in guest cruise operations, including Carnival Cruise Line, which became the first major cruise line in the U.S. to celebrate its entire fleet entering service. The company's enhanced COVID-19 protocols have helped it become among the safest forms of socializing and travel, with far lower incidence rates than on land. While the company's adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (see Non-GAAP Financial Measures) have benefited from the sale of smaller-less efficient ships and the delivery of larger-more efficient ships, this benefit is offset by a portion of its fleet being in pause status for part of the year, restart related expenses, an increase in the number of dry-dock days, the cost of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols, inflation and supply chain disruptions. The company anticipates that some of these costs and expenses will end in 2022. Additionally, the company continues to expect to see a significant improvement in adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD from the first half of 2022 to the second half of 2022 with a mid-teens increase for the full year 2022 compared to 2019. The COVID-19 global pandemic and its ongoing effects, inflation and higher fuel prices are collectively having a material impact on the company's business, including its results of operations, liquidity and financial position. In addition, as is the case with the travel and leisure sector generally, the company is making meaningful progress in resolving the challenges it is experiencing with onboard staffing which have resulted in occupancy constraints on certain voyages. The company expects a net loss for the third quarter of 2022. For the full year 2022, the company continues to expect a net loss. The company continues to believe that adjusted EBITDA will improve with the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations and continues to expect improvement in occupancy throughout 2022 until it returns to historical levels in 2023. The company expects positive adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2022. Fleet Optimization Carnival Cruise Line – proudly known as America's cruise line – is teaming up with Costa Cruises – Italy's favorite cruise line – creating a new concept for Carnival's North American guests when COSTA® by CARNIVAL® debuts in the spring of 2023 and Costa Venezia joins the Carnival fleet. Costa Venezia will be followed by Costa Firenze arriving in the spring of 2024. Carnival will operate the ships, which will marry the great service, food and entertainment that Carnival's guests enjoy with Costa's Italian design features. In addition, Carnival Cruise Line announced earlier this month that Costa Luminosa will join their fleet later this year and will start guest operations as Carnival Luminosa in November 2022. This will allow Carnival to finally start highly anticipated itineraries from Brisbane and have two ships operating in Australia for the high season Down-Under. Furthermore, last week the company announced the removal of another smaller-less efficient ship from our fleet. This brings the planned removal to 23 smaller-less efficient ships since the beginning of the pause in guest cruise operations further reducing the company's rate of capacity growth. Donald noted, "We continue to build on our fleet optimization efforts by reallocating capacity in a highly differentiated way to strengthen return on invested capital across our portfolio. In addition, we continue to further refine our fleet and have announced the removal of an additional smaller-less efficient ship. Upon returning to full operations, nearly a quarter of our capacity will consist of newly delivered ships, expediting our return to profitability." Update on Bookings Donald noted, "It is reinforcing to see continued strength in demand with our guests overcoming far more restrictive protocols than broader society and travel at large, leading to a near doubling of booking volumes since last quarter with near-term bookings even outpacing 2019. We were encouraged by close-in demand and remain focused on optimizing occupancy while preserving long term pricing." Donald added, "As friction from protocols is removed and society becomes increasingly more comfortable managing the virus, we expect to see demand continue to build, as we have already seen with the strength in Carnival Cruise Line's closer-to-home cruises." Booking volumes for all future sailings during the second quarter of 2022 were nearly double the booking volumes during the first quarter of 2022; the company notes these were its best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic, albeit still below 2019 levels. Booking volumes for the second half of 2022 sailings, since the beginning of April, have been higher than 2019 levels. The company believes this is a reflection of the previously expected extended wave season. (Due to the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations, the company's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.) While cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2022 are below the historical range, the company's booked position is consistent with its expected improving occupancy levels for the second half of 2022. Cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2022 are at lower prices, with or without future cruise credits ("FCCs"), normalized for bundled packages, as compared to 2019 sailings. Cumulative advanced bookings for the full year 2023 continue to be both at the higher end of the historical range and at higher prices, with or without FCCs, normalized for bundled packages, as compared to 2019 sailings. Sustainability Update  Continued focus on decarbonization and transparency of disclosures The company has made significant progress over the past 15 years reducing its carbon emission intensity and achieving its 2020 goal three years early (in 2017). The company has also made significant progress towards its 2030 carbon intensity reduction goals of 40% from a 2008 baseline, measured in both grams of CO2e per ALB-km and kilograms of CO2e per ALBD. The company has decided to update the baseline year for both goals to 2019 from 2008. This new baseline year will help the company better communicate recent progress against its climate goals to its investors and stakeholders as well as modernize its disclosures in alignment with developing best practice and reporting standards. Both 2030 goals now require a 20% improvement from 2019. With the updated baseline year, the company strengthened its goal measured in kilograms of CO2e per ALBD since the initial 2030 goal would only have required a further 15% reduction from 2019 levels. Its goal measured in grams of CO2e per ALB-km remains the same. Achieving these 2030 goals will require: The delivery of larger-more efficient ships, as part of its ongoing newbuild program, some of which will replace existing ships in its fleet Investing in energy efficiency projects for its existing fleet Designing more energy efficient itineraries Investing in port and destination projects The company continues to evaluate and implement changes to its various annual planning processes to further support its focus on decarbonization, such as the recently adopted Corporate Itinerary Decarbonization Reviews. These changes, together with the updates to its 2030 carbon intensity reduction goals, will improve both performance in sustainability and transparency to its investors and stakeholders on its progress. Advancing progress on circular economy through food waste management In May the company announced the installation of nearly 600 shipboard food waste bio-digesters across its fleet, as a continuation of its efforts to manage food waste and contribute to a circular economy. First piloted in 2019, this food waste processing technology naturally breaks down food waste, which supports the company's ongoing waste management and drives progress against its goal to achieve a 30% reduction in unit food waste by 2022 and a 50% reduction in unit food waste by 2030. These goals build on the company's latest achievement of reducing food waste per person by over 20% in December 2021 relative to a 2019 baseline. 2024 Mandatory Auditor Rotation Carnival plc is subject to UK law regarding mandatory auditor rotation. Under UK law, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") must be changed as Carnival plc's auditor for the 2024 audit at the latest. Yesterday, the Boards of Directors appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP ("Deloitte") as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2024 to be effective upon the execution of an engagement letter and related completion of Deloitte's standard client acceptance procedures to ensure their independence. The Boards of Directors will propose the appointment of Deloitte as external auditors for 2024 at the company's annual shareholder meetings as required. Other Recent Highlights Carnival Cruise Line broke ground on its new cruise port destination on Grand Bahama Island, expected to open in late 2024. Carnival Cruise Line saw its busiest booking week in the company's history, for the one-week period of March 28 -April 3. Cunard saw its busiest booking day in a decade for the first day of bookings for new ship Queen Anne. Holland America Line's Volendam is being used to provide temporary housing for Ukrainian refugees through September 2022. Carnival Corporation was recognized on Forbes' annual listing of Best Employers for Diversity for the fourth consecutive year and by Latino Leaders Magazine as one of the Best Companies for Latino to Work in 2022 for the second consecutive year. Carnival Corporation and BetMGM announced their partnership to provide on-ship mobile sports betting and iGaming experiences. Selected Forecast Information Available Lower Berth Days ("ALBDs") The company's ALBD forecast consists of contracted new ships, announced sales and planned restart schedule. Actuals Forecast Full Year 2022 (in millions) 1Q 2022 2Q 2022 3Q 2022 4Q 2022 ALBDs 13.3 16.7 20.9 21.7 72.6 Fuel The company's fuel consumption forecast for the remainder of the year is 1.4 million metric tons. The blended spot price for fuel is currently $978 per metric ton. Depreciation and Amortization The company's depreciation and amortization forecast for the remainder of the year is $1.1 billion. The 2022 full year forecast, which includes year-to-date actuals, is $2.3 billion. Interest Expense, Net of Capitalized Interest The company's interest expense, net of capitalized interest forecast for the remainder of the year is $0.8 billion. The 2022 full year forecast, which includes year-to-date actuals, is $1.6 billion. Outstanding Debt Maturities As of May 31, 2022, the company's outstanding debt maturities are as follows: (in billions) 2022 2023 2024 2025 Principal payments on outstanding debt (a) $                  1.3 $             2.8 $             2.0 $             4.4 (a)  Excludes the revolving credit facility. As of May 31, 2022, borrowings under the revolving credit facility were $2.7 billion, which mature in 2024. Capital Expenditures The company's annual capital expenditure forecast, which includes year-to-date actuals for 2022, is as follows: (in billions) 2022 2023 2024 2025 Contracted newbuild $                4.2 (a) $                2.4 $                1.6 $                0.9 Non-newbuild 1.4 1.9 2.0 2.0 Total (b) $                5.6 $                4.3 $                3.6 $                2.9 (a)  Includes three newbuild deliveries during the first quarter of 2022. (b)  Forecasted capital expenditures will fluctuate with foreign currency movements relative to the U.S. Dollar. Conference Call  The company has scheduled a conference call with analysts at 10:00 a.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. BST) today to discuss its business update. This call can be listened to live, and additional information can be obtained, via Carnival Corporation & plc's website at www.carnivalcorp.com and www.carnivalplc.com.  Carnival Corporation & plc is one of the world's largest leisure travel companies with a portfolio of nine of the world's leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, its portfolio features – Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (Australia), Seabourn, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard. Additional information can be found on www.carnivalcorp.com, www.carnivalsustainability.com, www.carnival.com, www.princess.com, www.hollandamerica.com, www.pocruises.com.au, www.seabourn.com, www.costacruise.com, www.aida.de, www.pocruises.com and www.cunard.com. Cautionary Note Concerning Factors That May Affect Future Results Some of the statements, estimates or projections contained in this document are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions with respect to us, including some statements concerning future results, operations, outlooks, plans, goals, reputation, cash flows, liquidity and other events which have not yet occurred. These statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts are statements that could be deemed forward-looking. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our business and the industry in which we operate and the beliefs and assumptions of our management. We have tried, whenever possible, to identify these statements by using words like "will," "may," "could," "should," "would," "believe," "depends," "expect," "goal," "aspiration," "anticipate," "forecast," "project," "future," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "target," "indicate," "outlook," and similar expressions of future intent or the negative of such terms. Forward-looking statements include those statements that relate to our outlook and financial position including, but not limited to, statements regarding: • Pricing • Goodwill, ship and trademark fair values • Booking levels • Liquidity and credit ratings • Occupancy • Adjusted earnings per share • Interest, tax and fuel expenses • Return to guest cruise operations.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Boris Johnson should quit or be forced out, former Conservative leader says

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from the Conservatives. A file photo of Oliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conference.Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Former party leader Michael Howard has called on Boris Johnson to quit or be forced out. Tory MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said another leadership challenge could be triggered in weeks. Malcolm Rifkind warned Johnson could be brought down by just a dozen junior ministers. Boris Johnson should quit or be forced out of office, former party leader Michael Howard has said. Howard, who led the Tories in opposition, told the BBC: "I think the party, and even more importantly the country, would now be better off under new leadership."He called for the 1922 committee to consider changing the rules so that a new leadership vote, despite Johnson having narrowly won during a recent challenge. Cabinet ministers should also "very carefully consider their positions, as Oliver Dowden has done", Howard said. Dowden resigned as Conservative Party chairman early Friday morning, saying: "We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility." Dowden's letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party. Other senior Tories have also suggested Johnson could face a fresh leadership challenge.Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the 1922 committee, said the Conservative Party will hold "serious discussions" in the next few days "and then we will all have to make difficult decisions".Malcolm Rifkind, who served in Margaret Thatcher's final Cabinet, said Johnson could be brought down by a dozen junior ministers.  Former Conservative leader, Michael Howard, calls for Boris Johnson to quit – or others in party to force him outFormer Conservative leader Michael Howard has called for Boris Johnson to quit, after the party lost two key seats in the by-elections overnight. Howard, who led the Tories between 2003 and 2005, told BBC's World at One: "I think the party, and even more importantly the country, would now be better off under new leadership."He added: "[Johnson's] biggest asset has always been his ability to win votes, but yesterday's results make it clear that he no longer has that ability."The best person who has the ability to judge the mood of both the party and the electorate is its chairman. I have enormous respect for Oliver Dowden and the implications of his resignation letter are, I think, very clear."Howard noted that in the by-elections "the electorate delivered its verdict... I don't think it's very likely that he will [resign] but there are others who can take action, who can make that course come about".Tory MPs mulling whether to trigger second leadership contest in Boris Johnson, says senior backbencherBoris JohnsonUK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERSSir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has said Tory MPs will decide whether to trigger a leadership contest in the coming weeks.  "We will need to hear from the prime minister how he intendes to lead the country forward to address the very serious and increasinly difficult economic problems we have got."When we have head that we will need to make an assessment whether that is acceptable to the party or whether we need to trigger a leadership contest of one form or another."Acknowleding the "current rules" mean Boris Johnson could not face another vote of no confidence in the next 12 months, Clifton-Brown told Sky News it would be a "very serious decision" to shake things up. "The parliamentary party would need to make it very clear to the [1922] executive that the rules need to be changed, and that would be a decision for the whole executive," he added. "Colleagues are talking privately, working out what is the best way forward." A dozen ministers could end Boris Johnson's leadership, says Sir Malcolm RifkindSir Malcolm Rifkind says Boris Johnson could be brought down by a dozen junior ministersAwakening/Getty ImagesThe Conservatives have "moved into a fundamentally new stage of this ongoing controversy" because of the resignation of Oliver Dowden, according to Tory grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind.Rifkind, a former Cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher and John Major, tells Sky News that Dowden's resignation letter was "a very clear way of saying the prime minister is refusing" to take responsibility. Divisions among ministers "have to be brought to a conclusion in one way to another", he adds, saying the end of Thatcher's tenure came about without a challenge to her "integrity".He adds: "Given the resignation of a senior Cabinet minister, on  this very issue, ks what the views are not just of the Cabeint but 50 or 60 junior ministers of state, without whom the government cannot function."Boris Johnson should seek their views or they should go to him, he adds, but "if a dozen ministers" no longer support the prime minister, they could bring his leadership to an end. Liberal Democrats will 'get rid of a lot of Conservative MPs' in general election, warns party leaderLiberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has said his party plans to "get rid of a lot of Conservative MPs" in a future general election, although admits he can't put a number on it. The Lib Dems often do well in by-elections as a "protest vote" against whoever the incumbent is, but national votes are a very different matter. Speaking from Tiverton, Davey tells reporters: "It is difficult to say, as we are maybe two years from a general election. "The fact we have won three parliamentary by-elections in just over 12 months suggests we are going to make advances and are going to get rid of a lot of Conservative MPs.""It is too early to put a number of it but we certainly intend to get rid of a lot of Conservative MPs."Liberal Democrats unveil latest by-election victory stunt – showing Boris Johnson 'the door'The Liberal Democrats have pulled one of their customary stunts after winning a by-election - showing Boris Johnson "the door". Ed Davey, the party leader, has joined his newest MP Richard Foorde in the constituency Tiverton & Honiton, where the pair unveiled a blue door for the prime minister. —Ami Wyllie (@amiwyllienews) June 24, 2022Past stunts have included Davey smashing through a "Blue Wall" and bursting a blue balloon. Rishi Sunak says 'we all take responsibility for results' as he signals intention to stay put as chancellorThere have been more than a few rumours circulating this morning that Rishi Sunak could be about to fall on his sword.However, judging by the tweet the social media-savvy chancellor has just posted, that seems unlikely, at least in the short-term.In a nod to Oliver Dowden's call for someone to take responsibility, Sunak says "we all take responsibility for the results".It's not exactly full-throated support for Boris Johnson, but it's a clear indication that he plans to remain in post.—Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) June 24, 2022 Robert Buckland: Boris Johnson must look himself in the mirrorRobert Buckland, former justice secretaryWiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty ImagesA former Cabinet minister says Boris Johnson must "look in the mirror and make sure that he does better" after the disastrous by-election results. Robert Buckland, a former justice secretary who was demoted by Johnson last year, insists he is not looking to jettison "the captain", saying the problems faced by the Tories were "much bigger than the story of one man". But speaking to Sky News, he says: "He needs to, as I've said to him myself, look in the mirror and make sure he does better."I think, therefore, the next couple of years are the time for him to prove to all of us that this can be done, and for the Conservative Party to demonstrate that it is still capable of governing this country as it has done, I believe, so well in the past."  By-election result not just mid-term blues, says polling guru Prof John CurticeBoris Johnson might be trying to push some of the blame for the by-elections onto a traditional mid-term slump, but one of the UK's foremost polling experts argues otherwise. John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research, told BBC Radio 4 it was more a sign of terminal decline."You have to go back to John Major's government of 1992 to 1997 to find a government struggling as much in by elections, and that of course is not a very happy precedent," he said. Although much of this has translated into voter apathy rather than an emphatic swing to Labour, Curtice notes that the swing to Labour in Wakefield was "probably just enough to generate a Labour overall majority [at a general election]".Boris Johnson's response to Oliver Dowden fails to acknowledge reason for minister's resignationBoris Johnson's letter responding to Oliver Dowden's resignation this morning makes for interesting reading. The prime minister thanks him for his work and says he is sad to see the party chairman leave Government, as you would expect. But there is no reference to the points made about the need for change or for "somebody" to take responsibility.Instead, the PM says: "Whilst I completely understand your disappointment with the by-election results, this Government was elected with an historic mandate just over two years ago to unite and level up. I look forward to continuing to work together on that."—Amanda Milling (@amandamilling) June 24, 2022 'Spotlight on him': Tory co-chair Ben Elliot is 'part of reason we lost', claims sourcePrime Minister Boris Johnson poses with Ben Elliot, Conservative party co-chairmanDavid M. Benett/Dave BenettOne Tory source got in touch to point out that the Conservative Party does still have a chairman in the form of Ben Elliot. "Oliver was only ever co-chair," the source said. "They kept the first syllable rather quiet to keep Ben in the shadows."Elliot's position as party co-chair has been long under attack, both by opposition figures and those within the party. Labour claims the Tories have raised almost £2 million from people with links to Russia since Elliot joined CCHQ. Insider recently reported senior MPs calling for him to be ousted, after "contaminating" links with Russia. Read more about that here.The Tory source says the "scandal-soaked" Elliot "is part of the reason we lost and Dowden resigned - spotlight on him".Minister Paul Scully insists 'it's not business as usual', after by-election lossesPaul Scully, the small business minister, is filling in on Sky New after Oliver  Dowden resigned.He admits "it's not been a good evening for the party by any stretch of the imagination", but that the government will "respond". Scully says voters will reward those who "govern well", pointing to policies meant to address the spiraling cost of living in the UK. "It is not business as usual, we will reflect, we will listen and we will respond," he adds. Boris Johnson "has always said he will take personal responsibility", but is still the right person for the job, Scully says. Dominic Raab admits 'distractions because of partygate' hurt Tories in by-electionsDominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, has been covering for Oliver Dowden on BBC Radio 4, after his colleague quit as Conservative Party chairman this morning.Raab says the poor by-election results were down to a "perfect storm of very difficult local scenarios, given the situations of the previous sitting Conservative MPs, plus the national headwinds".He said the "distractions we have had" are also a factor. But he then argues that the Tories will spend the next two years trying to win support back. Asked if he is talking about business as usual – something Dowden criticised in his letter – Raab says: "We have had distractions because of partygate, because of too much Westminster internal focus when people want to see us focused on their priorities."He then highlights support that the Government has brought forward to deal with the cost of living crisis. Starmer: If Tories had any decency, they would get out of the wayLabour's win in Wakefield is "a vindication of all our hard work over the last two years", Sir Keir Starmer said. The swing against the Tories in the Red Wall seat was because Labour was "absolutely focused on the issues facing hard working people", he added. "And what a judgement this is on the Tories and Boris Johnson, what a judgement it is on them," Starmer says. "They are out of touch, out of ideas and if they had any decency they would get out of the way for the sake of the country."—BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 24, 2022 Two and a half weeks is a (very) long time in politics...Channel 4 News' Paul McNamara sums it up: —Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) June 24, 2022 Boris Johnson plays down partygate, blames mid-term slump and economy for by-election resultsBoris Johnson said he will "listen to what people are saying", as he sought to play down the impact of partygate on the by-election results. The prime minister thanked Oliver Dowden, whom he called an "excellent party chairman."Johnson said it was "absolutely true we have had some tough by-election results, [but] they have been a reflection of a lot of things".He tells broadcasters: "We have got to recognise that voters are going through a tough time at the moment. We have got to listen to what people are saying, particularly in the difficulties over the cost of living, which for most people is the number one issue."However Johnson stressed that "mid-term governments, post-war, lose by-elections". Asked about the Sue Gray report into lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street, he added: "Historically, over the last 50 years or more, you have seen governments punished at the polls mid-term, particularly when people are feeling economic pressures."Ed Davey: Voters will 'send Tory MPs packing' if they don't sack Boris JohnsonEd Davey (R) with newly-elected Tiverton MP Richard Foord on the campaign trailFinnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesOliver Dowden might be absent from the morning round, but Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is more than happy to go on the air after the historic by-election result this morning. Davey tells Sky News: "If Conservative MPs don't wake up, at the next election voters will send them packing."He argues that the Tiverton & Honiton win "isn't a flash in the pan – this is a series of victories against the Conservatives for the Lib Dems", after similar successes in Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire. Davey adds: "[Tory MPs] have he power to dispatch this prime minister. If they don't do that I think the voters will wreak their revenge... the fact Tory MPs won't do the decent thing, won't listen to the people, mean they will pay the price at the next election."Lord Frost: By-election results are 'terrible' for Tories – but not great for Labour or Lib DemsFormer minister Lord Frost says the by-election results are "terrible" for the Tories but are not "particularly good" for Labour or the Liberal Democrats either. Frost, who has been increasingly critical of Boris Johnson, said: "In contrast to many 'normal' mid-term by-elections, these do not show strong protest votes for the opposition."They show people who voted for us in 2019 refusing to come out and do so again. We as Conservatives must decide why that is, and what we do about it."What will Boris Johnson do now?Boris Johnson is thousands of miles from home, in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. According to PA Media, the prime minister said he would "listen" to voters but "keep going" after the double by-election defeat.On his way to Rwanda, he told journalists: "Governing parties generally do not win by-elections, particularly not in midterm. You know, I'm very hopeful, but you know, there you go.Asked to confirm he was not considering his future, he replied: "Are you crazy?"However, the resignation of Oliver Dowden is putting renewed pressure on the prime minister.Gavin Barwell: Boris Johnson must go to avoid Tories 'sleepwalking into defeat' at general electionGavin Barwell, the chief of staff under former prime minister Theresa May, says the Conservative party risks "sleepwalking into a defeat" at a future general election.  He tells Sky News that the Tiverton & Honiton result is "catastrophic" because "it means there is a whole swathe of seats across the south of the country that are vulnerable".The peer adds: "Finally, finally, somebody in the Cabinet has taken the decision to stand down."If the Conservative party carries on as it is, it is sleepwalking into a defeat at the next election, so I am very pleased that somebody senior in the party has recognised that and done something about it."The party "can't just change the figurehead" - it has to change direction, to avoid this, he argues.Tory MPs play down prospect of Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resignsOliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conferenceIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesTory MPs are playing down the prospect of a Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resigned, following the "poor" by-election results this morning. Rebel backbenchers have urged ministers to act by removing Boris Johnson, after they failed to get enough numbers in the recent vote of no confidence. Dowden's resignation letter was notably absent of any warm words for the prime minister. However Tory MPs said this was unlikely to kick off a wave of colleagues quitting. While one MP told Insider he was hopeful it would trigger others to do the same, colleagues were sceptical. One said it was "doubtful" because "there aren't many decent ones in there".The MP questioned whether Dowden had backed Johnson during the confidence vote, noting his allegiance to David Cameron and Theresa May."The Oliver I know is decent and honourable and will have hated having to defend the indefensible." Another said: "There cannot be a coup, there is no mechanism. Rebels should have waited."Tory MPs: Oliver Dowden not the person to blame for by-election resultsOther Tory MPs have come out swinging after the poor by-election results this morning. Angela Richardson, who quit as Michael Gove's PPS earlier this year over partygate, has praised Oliver Dowden as a "fantastic colleague", adding that he is "most certainly not responsible for these results".Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee, echoes her comments, saying: "An honourable letter from an honourable man. Oliver Dowden is not to blame for these results. Since 2015 I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend. Never more so than today."Dowden's resignation is sending shockwaves through Westminster, after his letter made no reference to ongoing support in Boris Johnson. —Angela Richardson MP (@AJRichardsonMP) June 24, 2022 Tory MP Roger Gale: Boris Johnson 'ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position'Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale has said the prime minister should "honourably" be considering standing down following the by-election results. Gale, who has long criticised Johnson and was among those to go public with his letter of no confidence, says: "Spin them how you like the by- election results in Tiverton & Honiton and in Wakefield are another vote of no-confidence in a Prime Minister that ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position."Commiserations to Conservative candidates who deserved better. The soul of our Party is at stake."Gale adds: "Oliver Dowden is a decent and honourable man who has clearly decided that he can no longer defend the indefensible."Oliver Dowden's resignation: What happens next?Boris JohnsonJacob King/PA/Getty ImagesThe shock resignation of Oliver Dowden is reopening questions about Boris Johnson's grip on power, just two weeks after he narrowly won a confidence vote among his own MPs. While the rules of the party mean the prime minister should theoretically be safe from challenges for another year, sources have told Insider that those rules are not set in stoneSimply put, if there are enough calls for him to go from new corners, we could see another vote in weeks or months. Dowden's resignation is also likely to bring forward the reshuffle, which was expected to be held in July. However Johnson is currently in Rwanda and has a string of international events to attend that will keep him out of the country until next week. One MP told Insider: "He has to replace Dowden. He can do it anywhere, anytime, but assume he will want to be in Downing Street."More immediately, the question is who will replace Dowden on the morning's media round?Oliver Dowden's resignation letter in fullOliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, has resigned following the dire by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Here is his letter in full. —Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 24, 2022 Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesKeir Starmer (right) campaigning alongside Simon LightwoodIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".He is alluding to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Tory candidate in Tiverton & Honiton 'locked herself in room'Shortly before the results were announced at Tiverton & Honiton this morning, it seems the Conservative candidate Helen Hurford locked herself in a room. —Tess de la Mare (@TessdelaMare) June 24, 2022 —Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) June 24, 2022 Number crunching: The vote in Tiverton & HonitonThe result in Wakefield is a big loss to Boris Johnson's Conservatives, who have spent much political capital courting the Red Wall vote. However, the result in Tiverton & Honiton will arguably worry the Tories more. The majority was much higher, meaning Richard Foord's success required a larger swing. Much like North Shropshire, which the party lost late last year, it is a 'Blue Wall' seat of traditional Tory voters. It was also predominantly a Leave-backing seat. All that will make today's results pretty grim reading for the party. Here's what the figures look like: —Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Richard Foord: Boris Johnson has overstayed his welcomeRichard Foord (C) reacts to the result in Tiverton & Honiton on June 24, 2022Finnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesThe Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturned a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30% – to take Tiverton & Honiton from the Tories. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's troubled leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister and demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albeit with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johnson as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

Futures Surge To Two Week High As Traders Eye End Of Fed"s Hiking Cycle

Futures Surge To Two Week High As Traders Eye End Of Fed's Hiking Cycle Futures are pointing to solid close to the week - now that a recession and earlier rate cuts are assured... .... with a continuation of the rally which has pushed stocks to two week highs, with Tech continuing to lead while Chinese Tech is helping to fuel the global risk-on rally to end the week. Tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures added 1% while contracts on the S&P 500 gained 0.9%, trading near session highs  at 3,833 after the main US stock gauge closed near session highs Thursday, adding more than 3% in three days. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.5%, with the benchmark set for a small bounce this week. 10-year Treasury yields rose to 3.13% after earlier sliding as low as 3.04%. In premarket trading, software maker Zendesk Inc. soared over 50% on reports it’s close to reaching a deal to be acquired by a group of buyout firms led by Hellman & Friedman and Permira. Bank stocks were mostly higher as well after the latest stress test that results showed all 34 participating banks had passed (of course). In corporate news, Coinbase will launch its first crypto derivative product on Monday in the midst of the current crypto winter. US-listed Chinese stocks rise in premarket trading, on track for their best week since April as more market watchers turn positive on the group amid a gradual easing in Beijing’s crackdown on tech. Alibaba (BABA US) +3%, Nio (NIO US) +2.8%. Here are some other notable premarket movers: FedEx Corp. (FDX US) shares gained in premarket trading with analysts mostly welcoming its annual earnings forecast that was above expectations amid higher package prices and resolution on some operation issues related to labor shortage. Nevertheless, they still maintained caution amid cost pressures and macroeconomic uncertainty. US bank stocks may be volatile Friday after the Federal Reserve announced after the close of trading on Thursday that all banks had passed its annual stress test. Blackberry (BB CN) gained in postmarket trading after it reported an adjusted basic loss per share for the first quarter of 5c, in line with estimates. LendingTree (TREE US) shares dropped 10% in extended trading on Thursday, after the consumer finance company cut its second-quarter forecast for both revenue and adjusted Ebitda. Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT US) shares may be under pressure after it announced that the FDA has placed a clinical hold on the company’s peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer to treat patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. That said, analysts believe this is mostly a hiccup and that the stock should get a lift once data from the company’s NT gene therapy is disclosed. In his market wrap note, JPM's Andrew Tyler asks "Does this rally have legs" and answers: "The next major catalyst is the June 30 PCE data. This current rally is seeing Tech and Defensive sectors as the largest outperformers. While some investors may play momentum, there seems to be a collective lack of conviction with many believing that this rally fizzles. Traders are looking for confirmation from a breakout above ~3900 resistant level." To be sure, investors are grappling with the question of what comes next if an economic downturn takes hold. One scenario - the bullish one - predicts cooling price pressures and thus scope for central banks to ease up on the pace of interest-rate hikes. In the other one, Jerome Powell hardened his resolve to cool inflation in testimony to lawmakers this week, after acknowledging that a recession may be the price to pay. “In spite of the hawkish remarks from Fed officials, the growing worries that their hikes would trigger a recession actually meant that investors priced in a shallower pace of rate hikes over the coming 12-18 months,” Deutsche Bank AG strategists led by Jim Reid wrote in a note. “That had a knock-on impact on Treasuries.” We discussed this extensively last night. The rising probability of a peak in rates put the policy-sensitive US two-year yield on course for one of its biggest weekly drops since March 2020. Meanwhile, traders are starting to price out any Fed action on rates beyond the December meeting, scaling back the additional tightening they expect and flirting with the possibility of cuts by in 2023. In Europe, equities traded well with the Stoxx rising 1.5% and the Euro Stoxx 50 1% higher back near Thursday’s highs. CAC 40 outperforms peers. Health care and media are the strongest sectors, autos and retail names lag. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: European health care stocks jump, outperforming the broader market. Societe Generale says the fundamentals of the European pharma sector are healthier than US peers. Roche rises as much as 3.4%, Novo Nordisk +3.2% and AstraZeneca +2.6% among the biggest contributors to the gain Ultra Electronics shares rise as much as 13% after a statement that the UK government is leaning toward approving Cobham’s planned takeover of the British defense-technology specialist. LVMH shares rise as much as 2.9% on Bernstein’s top luxury pick at a time of macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertanties, thanks in part to the French giant’s Dior mega-brand, which analyst Luca Solca says is one of the industry’s biggest success stories Telenet shares rise as much as 6.4%, with Barclays and New Street Research both noting that the stock is cheap and it may become more attractive for majority holder Liberty Global to consider buying the rest of the shares. Zalando shares sink as much as 18%, hitting the lowest since Jan. 2019. The online retailer warning on its sales and earnings outlook was not a total surprise, but the scale of the downgrade to its expectations was more significant than anticipated, analysts say. Fast fashion and online retailers decline in Europe following another warning in the sector, this time from Germany’s Zalando. HelloFresh slumps as much as -9.7%, Delivery Hero -6.0%, Deliveroo -2.7%. Fertilizer stocks sink in Europe with Morgan Stanley flagging the industry’s exposure to surging gas prices, gas supply uncertainties and related government measures in Europe to prevent shortages. K+S shares fall as much as 4.9%, Yara down as much as 4.8% and OCI down 3.9% Earlier in the session, Asian stocks headed for a second day of gains as technology shares staged a comeback amid falling yields, with investors continuing to weigh the prospect of higher inflation and monetary tightening. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.2%, lifted by tech-heavy markets such as South Korea. A gauge of Asian tech stocks jumped, rallying from the lowest level since September 2020. A Chinese tech measure in Hong Kong advanced 4%. Consumer and health care names also contributed to Friday’s gains amid a global shift to defensive stocks. Asian equities headed for their first weekly gain in three, as the market took a breather from intense selling pressure fueled by fears that aggressive monetary tightening will push the US economy into a recession. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in testimony to lawmakers stressed his “unconditional” commitment to bringing down inflation. Stocks have fared relatively better in Asia than in other regions as China’s move to dial back Covid restrictions supports market sentiment. Asia’s benchmark is down about 6% this month, compared with at least 8% declines in the S&P 500 Index and the Euro Stoxx 50. “The growth differentials are going to open up between China and the rest of the world,” Kinger Lau, chief China equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. Chinese equities “tend to do quite well going into the party congress, three to six months before that. Right now seems like we are in the sweet spot.” Japanese stocks climbed as investors assessed hawkish comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on further interest rate hikes and a rally in Treasuries that sent yields lower, boosting tech shares. The Topix Index rose 0.8% to 1,866.72 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.2% to 26,491.97. Japan’s Mothers index rallied as much as 5.8%.  Nidec Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 6.5%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,540 rose and 550 fell, while 80 were unchanged. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index completed a weekly gain of 1.6% to close at 6578.70, as technology shares staged a comeback amid falling yields. The tech benchmark had a weekly gain of 8.1%, the most since August. Nine of the 11 subgauges ended Friday higher, with only energy and mining stocks sliding after a gauge of commodities retreated.   New Zealand’s market was closed for a public holiday In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index dipped into the red, poised for its first weekly decline in a month as investors gauge whether aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes would tip the US economy into a recession; the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.5% this week while the policy-sensitive US two-year yield is on course for its biggest weekly drop since March 2020. The Japanese yen was the only Group-of-10 currency to fare worse than the dollar, sliding back under 135. “The dollar is undermined by the weakness in PMI data and growing concerns that aggressive rate hikes will eventually cause growth slowdown,” said Akira Moroga, manager of currency products at Aozora Bank in Tokyo. “US yields are also stabilizing from recent sharp climb to weigh on the dollar,” he said. NOK and SEK are the strongest in G-10 FX, JPY is the weakest. Rates erase initial gains, with Treasuries now slightly cheaper across the curve as US stock futures advance beyond Thursday’s highs, while core European bond gains fade and European stocks rally. US yields cheaper by 1bp-3bp across the curve and spreads within a basis point of Thursday’s close; 10-year higher by 1.5bp at 3.10%, bunds in the sector by an additional 3.5bp. Bunds futures complete a ~150 tick round trip, rallying near 149.00 before returning toward 147.50. Cash curves remain bear-steeper, long end bunds cheapen ~3bps having initially richened ~5bps. Cash USTs and gilts are comparatively quiet after following bunds price action in early trade. Italian bonds lag peers, widening the 10y BTP/Bund spread back above 200bps. Focal points of US session include early Bullard comments and University of Michigan inflation expectations, cited by Fed Chair Powell in latest policy decision.  In commodities, crude futures advance, albeit holding within a relatively narrow range. West Texas Intermediate crude traded near $105 a barrel after retreating over the previous two sessions. The US benchmark has lost almost 4% this week, putting prices on course for their first monthly drop since November. Base metals complex is under pressure, LME tin drops over 12%, nickel down over 6%. Spot gold rises roughly $4 to trade near $1,827/oz.  Bitcoin traded rangebound on either side of the 21,000 level. Sliding raw materials prices have contributed to a moderation in market-based measures of inflation expectations. Oil headed for its first back-to-back weekly loss since early April amid a broader selloff in commodities markets. To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator for June, Italian consumer confidence for June, and UK retail sales for May. Over in the US, there’s also the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for June, and new home sales for May. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Centeno and de Cos, the Fed’s Bullard and Daly, the BoE’s Pill and Haskel, and BoJ Deputy Governor Amamiya. Market snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 3,826.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 406.65 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.40% Euro little changed at $1.0525 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $110.51/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,826.53 MXAP up 1.1% to 159.08 MXAPJ up 1.3% to 527.68 Nikkei up 1.2% to 26,491.97 Topix up 0.8% to 1,866.72 Hang Seng Index up 2.1% to 21,719.06 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,349.75 Sensex up 0.7% to 52,652.22 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 6,578.70 Kospi up 2.3% to 2,366.60 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 104.35 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Global equity funds saw their biggest outflows in nine weeks as investors piled into cash amid fears that the US economy could be headed for a recession. UK consumers are starting to crumple in the face of soaring prices, according a series of reports that paint a grim picture of the nation’s cost of living crisis. Germany’s economy minister said he can’t be sure that Russia will resume shipments through a key gas pipeline following planned maintenance next month, raising the prospect of a fresh surge in prices and rationing this winter. A more detailed look at global markets from Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks ultimately followed suit to the gains on Wall St where a decline in yields and lower commodity prices helped the major indices claw back from the opening losses which were triggered by disappointing PMI data. ASX 200 was positive with tech stocks encouraged by US counterparts which benefitted from the lower yield environment although gains in the index were capped by weakness in the commodity-related sectors after the recent pressure in energy and metal prices. Nikkei 225 found early momentum alongside currency flows and held on to gains despite the JPY reversal. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive after officials recently suggested ample policy space to sustain a steady economic performance and with the PBoC upping its liquidity efforts. Top Asian News PBoC injected CNY 60bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.10% for a CNY 50bln net daily injection, according to Reuters. Xi Trip to Hong Kong in Doubt After Top Officials Get Covid Hong Kong’s Jumbo Mystery Deepens as Restaurant May Be Afloat Gold Set for Weekly Drop on Powell’s Unconditional Inflation Vow Iron Ore Poised to End Wild Week Down as Steel Inventories Rise Hedge Funds Buy Dollar-Yen Downside Options on Recession Risks European bourses have coat-tailed on the positivity seen on Wall Street yesterday and across APAC overnight, with European indices firmer to varying degrees. Sectors overall project a modest defensive bias as Healthcare, Media, Consumer Products, and Food & Beverages reside among the winners, although Tech is also buoyed by the pullback in bond yields. Europe's largest online retailer Zalando (-12%) slumped following a profit warning, and in turn dragged the European Retail sector to the lowest level since March 2020. Stateside, US equity futures are firmer across the board – with the NQ narrowly leading the pack – participants also flagged the ES overcoming resistance at 3,800. Top European News UK PM Johnson's Conservatives lost the parliamentary seat in the Wakefield by-election to the Labour Party and lost the by-election in Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats, according to Reuters. Subsequently, PM Johnson has been warned to "watch out for a coup", according to reporting in The Telegraph. Furthermore, Conservative Party Chairman Dowden has resigned following the by-elections. 1922 Committee treasurer Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown hints that Tory leadership rules could be changed to allow rebels another shot at the PM, according to Mail's Grove. Boris Johnson’s Party Chair Quits After Double Election Blow Zurich Insurance Sells Legacy German Life Portfolio to Viridium Ukraine Latest: Troops to Leave Key Eastern City as Russia Gains Airlines 2Q Seen Profitable for Most, Deterioration in 2023: DB FX Kiwi elevated amidst favourable crosswinds on NZ market holiday - Nzd/Usd probes 0.6300 as Aud/Nzd retreats towards 1.0950. Euro encouraged by elements of German Ifo survey and Pound shrugs off mixed UK consumption data, all time low consumer sentiment and more pain for PM Johnson on risk factors and gravitating Greenback - Eur/Usd firm on 1.0500 handle, Cable tests 1.2300 and DXY close to base of 104.120-510 range. Aussie, Loonie and Franc all bounce within ranges as Buck backs off, but Yen continues to encounter resistance after decent retracement - Aud/Usd back over 0.6900, Usd/Cad fades from pop above 1.3000 and Usd/Chf reverses through 0.9600 pivot. Scandi Crowns claw back lost ground, Yuan underpinned by PBoC liquidity injection and Peso by hawkish Banxico guidance to supplement 75 bp hike - Eur/Sek sub-10.7000, Eur/Nok near 10.4500, Usd/Cnh under 6.7000 and Usd/Mxn beneath 20.0000. Fixed Income Debt recoils after stretching recovery limits further - Bunds top out at 149.00, Gilts at 114.55 and 10 year T-note 118-00 Trading volumes pick-up on the way back down towards or to intraday lows of 147.21, 113.54 and 117-10+, as risk appetite steadily improves and focus turns to pm agenda Commodities WTI and Brent August futures are extending their modest gains in recent trade despite a lack of news flow. EIA said a status update on the weekly DOE oil inventories report will be provided on Monday. Spot gold remains uneventful under USD 1,850/oz – with the Dollar similarly contained intraday thus far. Focus has turned to base metals, with nickel, zinc, and tin among the biggest losers amid demand woes and surplus concerns. Chile state copper miner Codelco reached an agreement with workers to end the strike, according to Reuters. China is to auction 500k tonnes of imported soybeans from state reserves on July 1st, according to the trade centre cited by Reuters. US Event Calendar 10:00: June U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 50.2, prior 50.2 10:00: June U. of Mich. Expectations, prior 46.8; Current Conditions, est. 55.4, prior 55.4 10:00: June U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.4%, prior 5.4%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, est. 3.3%, prior 3.3% 10:00: May New Home Sales, est. 590,000, prior 591,000 MoM, est. -0.2%, prior -16.6% Central Bank speakers 07:30: Fed’s Bullard Discusses Central banks and Inflation 13:15: Fed’s Daly Interviewed on Fox Business News 16:00: Fed’s Daly Speaks at Shadow Open Market Conference DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Fears about an imminent recession have continued to dominate markets over the last 24 hours, with a combination of Chair Powell’s comments, weak economic data and renewed concerns about a European gas cutoff all helping to sound the alarm for investors. Indeed, the sudden rush for safe havens (along with doubts over how far central banks will actually hike if there’s a recession) meant that sovereign bonds rallied sharply, with yields on 10yr bunds (-20.6bps) seeing their largest daily decline in over a decade, which is quite something considering just how volatile bonds have been this year. Having said that the S&P 500 finished up +0.95% so it wasn't all doom and gloom on what was a pretty bad day for news. In terms of the various developments, weak data hampered the narrative and led to a flight to bonds from the outset, with the flash PMIs from Europe and the US painting a gloomy economic picture as we round out Q2. For instance, the Euro Area composite PMI fell to a 16-month low of 51.9 (vs. 54.0 expected), including larger-than-expected declines in both Germany and France. Later in the day, the US composite PMI also fell to 51.2 (vs. 53.0 expected), whilst the weekly initial jobless claims of the week through June 18 came in at 229k, thus taking the smoother 4-week moving average to its highest level since early February. So a bad run of numbers that at the very least add to the growing signs that we’re seeing a noticeable slowdown in growth. As the data was getting weaker, there was no sign that Fed Chair Powell was going to be put off from his challenge of restoring price stability, and he even reiterated before the House Financial Services Committee that their commitment to deal with inflation was “unconditional”. Bear in mind that he left that word out of his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee the previous day, which some had interpreted in a dovish light, so there’s no sign that the Fed are set to let up on the task ahead. Furthermore, Fed Governor Bowman became the latest member of the FOMC to endorse another 75bp hike at the next meeting in July, saying beyond that she favoured “increases of at least 50 basis points in the next few subsequent meetings”. In spite of the hawkish remarks from Fed officials, the growing worries that their hikes would trigger a recession actually meant that investors priced in a shallower pace of rate hikes over the coming 12-18 months. For instance, the rate priced in by the December meeting came down a further -5.5bps to 3.46%, whilst the terminal rate is now seen at just over 3.5%, having expected to be above 4% just before the Fed meeting. The market now sees the terminal rate being hit as early as February 2023 after most of the year so far has seen hikes priced in through the third quarter of 2023. That had a knock-on impact on Treasuries, with the 10yr yield down -6.9bps to 3.09%, and the 2s10s curve flattened -2.9bps to just 6.4bps. The Fed’s preferred indicator of the near-term forward spread also saw a large decline, with a -11.8bps move lower to 168bps, which was the lowest since early March. US equities continued trading in wide intraday ranges but were ultimately boosted by the shallower expected path of policy tightening. The S&P 500 gained +0.95%, leaving it +3.29% on the holiday-shortened week and on pace for its first weekly gain in a month. It was an interesting sector breakdown with shares sensitive to discount rates gaining, as one might expect with the rate move, sending the NASDAQ +1.62% higher. Otherwise, there was a clear delineation between defensives, which outperformed due to the slowing outlook, and cyclicals which ended the day in the red. Utilities, health care, real estate, and staples led the index and all ended in the green, while industrials, financials, materials, and energy all finished in the red. So a risk-off defensive rally in the States. Energy was particularly hit by the fall in brent crude futures, which were -1.51% lower on the day and nearly back beneath $110/bbl for the first time since mid-May. Over in Europe, there were further dramatic developments on the energy side, with German economy minister Habeck raising the country’s gas risk level to the second stage of the emergency plan. That takes them from the early warning phase to the alarm phase, with Habeck going as far as to warn about “a Lehman effect in the energy system” if the market collapsed. Our research colleagues in Frankfurt have written more about what this means (link here), but natural gas futures in Europe rose a further +3.33% yesterday to a fresh 3-month high of €131/MWh. The third and final stage of the plan would be the emergency phase, which occurs when there isn’t enough gas to meet general demand. The fears of recession and the threat of energy shortages meant that European equities took a tumble again yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (-0.82%) closing at its lowest level in 16 months with banks (-3.17%) leading the way as cyclicals also got hit hard in Europe. The DAX (-1.76%) was a regional under-performer with all the focus on the German government gas alert. Sovereign bond yields also plummeted, with those on 10yr bunds (-20.6bps) seeing their largest daily move lower in over a decade, whilst those on 10yr OATs (-20.7bps), gilts (-18.2bps) and BTPs (-15.9bps) witnessed a significant pullback as well. Our European economists don’t think that growth uncertainties will derail the near-term exit path for the ECB, but they write in a blog post yesterday (link here) that the release is another catalyst for a shift in the debate from a question of how quickly they need to catch up, to how far they will be able to go. Moving on to Asia, equity markets in the region are seeing decent gains overnight, with the Kospi (+1.66%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.23%), the Nikkei (+0.76%), the CSI (+0.74%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.54%). Looking forward as well, US stock futures has risen overnight with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.43%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.70%) trading higher amidst the decline in bond yields. In economic data, inflation in Japan is likely to remain closely watched after the core consumer prices climbed +2.1% y/y in May as expected, following a similar rise in April, a level not seen in seven years mainly because of higher energy prices. Excluding energy, prices were up +0.8% in May, also in line with market consensus, following a 0.8% increase in the preceding month. Moving on to some political news, the Conservative party lost two parliamentary seats in yesterday’s by-elections, which will be unwelcome news for Prime Minister Johnson, who’s already seen 41% of his own MPs vote no confidence in his leadership at the start of the month. One of the losses was to Labour in the “red wall” seat of Wakefield, which had been Labour for the entire post-war period until it was won by the Conservatives in 2019, and the Conservative vote share was down from 47% at the last general election to 30% yesterday. Elsewhere, they also lost the usually safe Conservative seat of Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats, with the Conservative vote share down from 60% in 2019 to 38% yesterday. Meanwhile, there was some bad news overnight on the economic front from the UK, with GfK’s consumer confidence reading dropping to a record low of -41 in June (vs. -40 expected), something not seen since the survey began 48 years ago. To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator for June, Italian consumer confidence for June, and UK retail sales for May. Over in the US, there’s also the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for June, and new home sales for May. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Centeno and de Cos, the Fed’s Bullard and Daly, the BoE’s Pill and Haskel, and BoJ Deputy Governor Amamiya. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/24/2022 - 07:53.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Conservatives to have "serious discussions" over Boris Johnson"s future says Tory MP

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from the Conservatives. A file photo of Oliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conference.Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Tories must make "difficult decisions" about Boris Johnson's future, a senior MP said. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown spoke after the party lost two seats in by-elections. Party chairman Oliver Dowden quit in response to the losses, piling pressure on Johnson. The Conservative Party will hold "serious discussions" about the future of Boris Johnson, a senior MP said in the wake of two stinging by-election losses. Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the 1922 committee, said votes in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton had yielded "pretty dire results" which "call into question the direction of the government at the present time".Clifton-Brown, who voted against Johnson in a recent confidence vote, sidestepped questions about whether the prime minister had his support, saying "as a democrat, at the moment, I abide by those results". "But clearly serious discussions will be had in the next few days and weeks and then we will all have to make difficult decisions."Several Tories renewed calls for Johnson to resign Friday morning, after Oliver Dowden resigned as Conservative Party chairman, saying: "We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility."Dowden's letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party. Speaking from Kigali, Rwanda, Johnson vowed to "listen to what people are saying", but played down suggestions that partygate was a factor, instead blaming mid-term blues and the economy.  By-election result not just mid-term blues, says polling guru Prof John CurticeBoris Johnson might be trying to push some of the blame for the by-elections onto a traditional mid-term slump, but one of the UK's foremost polling experts argues otherwise. John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research, told BBC Radio 4 it was more a sign of terminal decline."You have to go back to John Major's government of 1992 to 1997 to find a government struggling as much in by elections, and that of course is not a very happy precedent," he said. Although much of this has translated into voter apathy rather than an emphatic swing to Labour, Curtice notes that the swing to Labour in Wakefield was "probably just enough to generate a Labour overall majority [at a general election]".Boris Johnson's response to Oliver Dowden fails to acknowledge reason for minister's resignationBoris Johnson's letter responding to Oliver Dowden's resignation this morning makes for interesting reading. The prime minister thanks him for his work and says he is sad to see the party chairman leave Government, as you would expect. But there is no reference to the points made about the need for change or for "somebody" to take responsibility.Instead, the PM says: "Whilst I completely understand your disappointment with the by-election results, this Government was elected with an historic mandate just over two years ago to unite and level up. I look forward to continuing to work together on that."—Amanda Milling (@amandamilling) June 24, 2022 'Spotlight on him': Tory co-chair Ben Elliot is 'part of reason we lost', claims sourcePrime Minister Boris Johnson poses with Ben Elliot, Conservative party co-chairmanDavid M. Benett/Dave BenettOne Tory source got in touch to point out that the Conservative Party does still have a chairman in the form of Ben Elliot. "Oliver was only ever co-chair," the source said. "They kept the first syllable rather quiet to keep Ben in the shadows."Elliot's position as party co-chair has been long under attack, both by opposition figures and those within the party. Labour claims the Tories have raised almost £2 million from people with links to Russia since Elliot joined CCHQ. Insider recently reported senior MPs calling for him to be ousted, after "contaminating" links with Russia. Read more about that here.The Tory source says the "scandal-soaked" Elliot "is part of the reason we lost and Dowden resigned - spotlight on him".Minister Paul Scully insists 'it's not business as usual', after by-election lossesPaul Scully, the small business minister, is filling in on Sky New after Oliver  Dowden resigned.He admits "it's not been a good evening for the party by any stretch of the imagination", but that the government will "respond". Scully says voters will reward those who "govern well", pointing to policies meant to address the spiraling cost of living in the UK. "It is not business as usual, we will reflect, we will listen and we will respond," he adds. Boris Johnson "has always said he will take personal responsibility", but is still the right person for the job, Scully says. Dominic Raab admits 'distractions because of partygate' hurt Tories in by-electionsDominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, has been covering for Oliver Dowden on BBC Radio 4, after his colleague quit as Conservative Party chairman this morning.Raab says the poor by-election results were down to a "perfect storm of very difficult local scenarios, given the situations of the previous sitting Conservative MPs, plus the national headwinds".He said the "distractions we have had" are also a factor. But he then argues that the Tories will spend the next two years trying to win support back. Asked if he is talking about business as usual – something Dowden criticised in his letter – Raab says: "We have had distractions because of partygate, because of too much Westminster internal focus when people want to see us focused on their priorities."He then highlights support that the Government has brought forward to deal with the cost of living crisis. Starmer: If Tories had any decency, they would get out of the wayLabour's win in Wakefield is "a vindication of all our hard work over the last two years", Sir Keir Starmer said. The swing against the Tories in the Red Wall seat was because Labour was "absolutely focused on the issues facing hard working people", he added. "And what a judgement this is on the Tories and Boris Johnson, what a judgement it is on them," Starmer says. "They are out of touch, out of ideas and if they had any decency they would get out of the way for the sake of the country."—BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 24, 2022 Two and a half weeks is a (very) long time in politics...Channel 4 News' Paul McNamara sums it up: —Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) June 24, 2022 Boris Johnson plays down partygate, blames mid-term slump and economy for by-election resultsBoris Johnson said he will "listen to what people are saying", as he sought to play down the impact of partygate on the by-election results. The prime minister thanked Oliver Dowden, whom he called an "excellent party chairman."Johnson said it was "absolutely true we have had some tough by-election results, [but] they have been a reflection of a lot of things".He tells broadcasters: "We have got to recognise that voters are going through a tough time at the moment. We have got to listen to what people are saying, particularly in the difficulties over the cost of living, which for most people is the number one issue."However Johnson stressed that "mid-term governments, post-war, lose by-elections". Asked about the Sue Gray report into lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street, he added: "Historically, over the last 50 years or more, you have seen governments punished at the polls mid-term, particularly when people are feeling economic pressures."Ed Davey: Voters will 'send Tory MPs packing' if they don't sack Boris JohnsonEd Davey (R) with newly-elected Tiverton MP Richard Foord on the campaign trailFinnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesOliver Dowden might be absent from the morning round, but Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is more than happy to go on the air after the historic by-election result this morning. Davey tells Sky News: "If Conservative MPs don't wake up, at the next election voters will send them packing."He argues that the Tiverton & Honiton win "isn't a flash in the pan – this is a series of victories against the Conservatives for the Lib Dems", after similar successes in Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire. Davey adds: "[Tory MPs] have he power to dispatch this prime minister. If they don't do that I think the voters will wreak their revenge... the fact Tory MPs won't do the decent thing, won't listen to the people, mean they will pay the price at the next election."Lord Frost: By-election results are 'terrible' for Tories – but not great for Labour or Lib DemsFormer minister Lord Frost says the by-election results are "terrible" for the Tories but are not "particularly good" for Labour or the Liberal Democrats either. Frost, who has been increasingly critical of Boris Johnson, said: "In contrast to many 'normal' mid-term by-elections, these do not show strong protest votes for the opposition."They show people who voted for us in 2019 refusing to come out and do so again. We as Conservatives must decide why that is, and what we do about it."What will Boris Johnson do now?Boris Johnson is thousands of miles from home, in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. According to PA Media, the prime minister said he would "listen" to voters but "keep going" after the double by-election defeat.On his way to Rwanda, he told journalists: "Governing parties generally do not win by-elections, particularly not in midterm. You know, I'm very hopeful, but you know, there you go.Asked to confirm he was not considering his future, he replied: "Are you crazy?"However, the resignation of Oliver Dowden is putting renewed pressure on the prime minister.Gavin Barwell: Boris Johnson must go to avoid Tories 'sleepwalking into defeat' at general electionGavin Barwell, the chief of staff under former prime minister Theresa May, says the Conservative party risks "sleepwalking into a defeat" at a future general election.  He tells Sky News that the Tiverton & Honiton result is "catastrophic" because "it means there is a whole swathe of seats across the south of the country that are vulnerable".The peer adds: "Finally, finally, somebody in the Cabinet has taken the decision to stand down."If the Conservative party carries on as it is, it is sleepwalking into a defeat at the next election, so I am very pleased that somebody senior in the party has recognised that and done something about it."The party "can't just change the figurehead" - it has to change direction, to avoid this, he argues.Tory MPs play down prospect of Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resignsOliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conferenceIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesTory MPs are playing down the prospect of a Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resigned, following the "poor" by-election results this morning. Rebel backbenchers have urged ministers to act by removing Boris Johnson, after they failed to get enough numbers in the recent vote of no confidence. Dowden's resignation letter was notably absent of any warm words for the prime minister. However Tory MPs said this was unlikely to kick off a wave of colleagues quitting. While one MP told Insider he was hopeful it would trigger others to do the same, colleagues were sceptical. One said it was "doubtful" because "there aren't many decent ones in there".The MP questioned whether Dowden had backed Johnson during the confidence vote, noting his allegiance to David Cameron and Theresa May."The Oliver I know is decent and honourable and will have hated having to defend the indefensible." Another said: "There cannot be a coup, there is no mechanism. Rebels should have waited."Tory MPs: Oliver Dowden not the person to blame for by-election resultsOther Tory MPs have come out swinging after the poor by-election results this morning. Angela Richardson, who quit as Michael Gove's PPS earlier this year over partygate, has praised Oliver Dowden as a "fantastic colleague", adding that he is "most certainly not responsible for these results".Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee, echoes her comments, saying: "An honourable letter from an honourable man. Oliver Dowden is not to blame for these results. Since 2015 I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend. Never more so than today."Dowden's resignation is sending shockwaves through Westminster, after his letter made no reference to ongoing support in Boris Johnson. —Angela Richardson MP (@AJRichardsonMP) June 24, 2022 Tory MP Roger Gale: Boris Johnson 'ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position'Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale has said the prime minister should "honourably" be considering standing down following the by-election results. Gale, who has long criticised Johnson and was among those to go public with his letter of no confidence, says: "Spin them how you like the by- election results in Tiverton & Honiton and in Wakefield are another vote of no-confidence in a Prime Minister that ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position."Commiserations to Conservative candidates who deserved better. The soul of our Party is at stake."Gale adds: "Oliver Dowden is a decent and honourable man who has clearly decided that he can no longer defend the indefensible."Oliver Dowden's resignation: What happens next?Boris JohnsonJacob King/PA/Getty ImagesThe shock resignation of Oliver Dowden is reopening questions about Boris Johnson's grip on power, just two weeks after he narrowly won a confidence vote among his own MPs. While the rules of the party mean the prime minister should theoretically be safe from challenges for another year, sources have told Insider that those rules are not set in stoneSimply put, if there are enough calls for him to go from new corners, we could see another vote in weeks or months. Dowden's resignation is also likely to bring forward the reshuffle, which was expected to be held in July. However Johnson is currently in Rwanda and has a string of international events to attend that will keep him out of the country until next week. One MP told Insider: "He has to replace Dowden. He can do it anywhere, anytime, but assume he will want to be in Downing Street."More immediately, the question is who will replace Dowden on the morning's media round?Oliver Dowden's resignation letter in fullOliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, has resigned following the dire by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Here is his letter in full. —Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 24, 2022 Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesKeir Starmer (right) campaigning alongside Simon LightwoodIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".He is alluding to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Tory candidate in Tiverton & Honiton 'locked herself in room'Shortly before the results were announced at Tiverton & Honiton this morning, it seems the Conservative candidate Helen Hurford locked herself in a room. —Tess de la Mare (@TessdelaMare) June 24, 2022 —Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) June 24, 2022 Number crunching: The vote in Tiverton & HonitonThe result in Wakefield is a big loss to Boris Johnson's Conservatives, who have spent much political capital courting the Red Wall vote. However, the result in Tiverton & Honiton will arguably worry the Tories more. The majority was much higher, meaning Richard Foord's success required a larger swing. Much like North Shropshire, which the party lost late last year, it is a 'Blue Wall' seat of traditional Tory voters. It was also predominantly a Leave-backing seat. All that will make today's results pretty grim reading for the party. Here's what the figures look like: —Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Richard Foord: Boris Johnson has overstayed his welcomeRichard Foord (C) reacts to the result in Tiverton & Honiton on June 24, 2022Finnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesThe Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturned a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30% – to take Tiverton & Honiton from the Tories. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's troubled leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister and demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albeit with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johnson as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Conservatives to have "serious discussions" over Boris Johnson"s future, says Tory MP

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from the Conservatives. Oliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conferenceIan Forsyth/Getty Images Tories will have to make "difficult decisions" about Boris Johnson's future, a senior MP has said. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said "serious discussions" would take place following "dire" by-election results.  Oliver Dowden has quit as Conservative Party chairman, citing multiple "poor results" at the polls. The Conservative Party will hold "serious discussions" about the future of Boris Johnson, after losing two by-elections, a senior MP has said. Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the 1922 committee, said votes in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton had yielded "pretty dire results" which "call into question the direction of the government at the present time".Clifton-Brown, who voted against Johnson in a recent confidence vote, sidestepped questions about whether the prime minister had his support, saying "as a democrat, at the moment, I abide by those results". He added "But clearly serious discussions will be had in the next few days and weeks and then we will all have to make difficult decisions."Several Tories have renewed calls for Johnson to resign Friday morning, after Oliver Dowden resigned as Conservative Party chairman, saying: "We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility."Dowden's letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party. Speaking from Kigali, Rwanda, Johnson vowed to "listen to what people are saying", but played down suggestions that partygate was a factor, instead blaming mid-term blues and the economy.  By-election result not just mid-term blues, says polling guru Prof John CurticeBoris Johnson might be trying to push some of the blame for the by-elections onto a traditional mid-term slump, but one of the UK's foremost polling experts argues otherwise. John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research, told BBC Radio 4 it was more a sign of terminal decline."You have to go back to John Major's government of 1992 to 1997 to find a government struggling as much in by elections, and that of course is not a very happy precedent," he says. Although much of this has translated into voter apathy rather than an emphatic swing to Labour, Curtice notes that the swing to Labour in Wakefield was "probably just enough to generate a Labour overall majority [at a general election]".Boris Johnson's response to Oliver Dowden fails to acknowledge reason for minister's resignationBoris Johnson's letter responding to Oliver Dowden's resignation this morning makes for interesting reading. The prime minister thanks him for his work and says he is sad to see the party chairman leave Government, as you would expect. But there is no reference to the points made about the need for change or for "somebody" to take responsibility.Instead, the PM says: "Whilst I completely understand your disappointment with the by-election results, this Government was elected with an historic mandate just over two years ago to unite and level up. I look forward to continuing to work together on that."—Amanda Milling (@amandamilling) June 24, 2022 'Spotlight on him': Tory co-chair Ben Elliot is 'part of reason we lost', claims sourcePrime Minister Boris Johnson poses with Ben Elliot, Conservative party co-chairmanDavid M. Benett/Dave BenettOne Tory source has got in touch to point out that technically the Conservative Party does still have a chairman in the form of Ben Elliot. "Oliver was only ever co-chair," the source says. "They kept the first syllable rather quiet to keep Ben in the shadows."Elliot's position as party co-chair has been long under attack, both by opposition figures and those within the party. Labour claims the Tories have raised almost £2 million from people with links to Russia since Elliot joined CCHQ. Insider recently reported senior MPs calling for him to be ousted, after "contaminating" links with Russia. Read more about that here.The Tory source says the "scandal-soaked" Elliot "is part of the reason we lost and Dowden resigned - spotlight on him".Minister Paul Scully insists 'it's not business as usual', after by-election lossesPaul Scully, the small business minister, is filling in for Oliver Dowden on Sky News. He admits "it's not been a good evening for the party by any stretch of the imagination", but says the government will "respond". Scully says voters will reward those who "govern well", noting that the cost of living issue is being addressed with various packages. "It is not business as usual, we will reflect, we will listen and we will respond," he adds. Boris Johnson "has always said he will take personal responsibility", but is still the right person for the job, Scully says. Dominic Raab admits 'distractions because of partygate' hurt Tories in by-electionsDominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, has been covering for Oliver Dowden on BBC Radio 4, after his colleague quit as Conservative Party chairman this morning.Raab says the poor by-election results are down to a "perfect storm of very difficult local scenarios, given the situations of the previous sitting Conservative MPs, plus the national headwinds".He adds that the "distractions we have had" are also a factor. But he then argues that the Tories will spend the next two years trying to win support back. Asked if he is talking about business as usual – something Dowden criticised in his letter – Raab says: "We have had distractions because of partygate, because of too much Westminster internal focus when people want to see us focused on their priorities."He then highlights support that the Government has brought forward to deal with the cost of living crisis. Starmer: If Tories had any decency, they would get out of the way for the sake of the countryLabour's win in Wakefield is "a vindication of all our hard work over the last two years", Sir Keir Starmer has said. The swing against the Tories in the Red Wall seat was because Labour was "absolutely focused on the issues facing hard working people", he adds. "And what a judgement this is on the Tories and Boris Johnson, what a jugement it is on them," Starmer says. "They are out of touch, out of ideas anad if they had any decency they would get out of the way for the sake of the country."—BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 24, 2022 Two-and-a-half-weeks is a (very) long time in politics...Channel 4 News' Paul McNamara sums it up: —Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) June 24, 2022 Boris Johnson plays down partygate, blames mid-term slump and economy for by-election resultsBoris Johnson has said he will "listen to what people are saying", as he sought to play down the impact of partygate on the by-election results. The prime minister thanked Oliver Dowden as an "excellent party chairman", adding it was "absolutely true we have had some tough by-election results, [but] they have been a reflection foa  lot of things".He tells broadcasters: "We have got to recognise that voters are going through a tough time at the moment. We have got to listen to what people are saying, particularly in the difficulties over the cost of living, which for most people is the number one issue."However Johnson stressed that "mid-term governments, post-war, lose by-elections". Asked about the Sue Gray report into lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street, he added: "Historically, over the last 50 years or more, you have seen governments punished at the polls mid-term, particularly when people are feeling economic pressures."Ed Davey: Voters will 'send Tory MPs packing' if they don't sack Boris JohnsonEd Davey (R) with newly-elected Tiverton MP Richard Foord on the campaign trailFinnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesOliver Dowden might be absent from the morning round, but Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is more than happy to go on the air after the historic by-election result this morning. Davey tells Sky News: "If Conservative MPs don't wake up, at the next election voters will send them packing."He argues that the Tiverton & Honiton win "isn't a flash in the pan – this is a series of victories aginst the Conservatives for the Lib Dems", after similar successes in Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire. Davey adds: "[Tory MPs] have he power to dispatch this prime minsiter. If they dont do that I think the voters will wreak their revenge... the fact Tory MPs won't do the decent thing, won't listen to the people, mean they will pay the price at the next election."Lord Frost: By-election results are 'terrible' for Tories – but not great for Labour or Lib DemsFormer minister Lord Frost says the by-election results are "terrible" for the Tories but are not "particularly good" for Labour or the Liberal Democrats either. Frost, who has been increasingly critical of Boris Johnson, said: "In contrast to many 'normal' mid-term by-elections, these do not show strong protest votes for the opposition."They show people who voted for us in 2019 refusing to come out and do so again. We as Conservatives must decide why that is, and what we do about it."What will Boris Johnson do now?Boris Johnson is thousands of miles away from home, in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. According to PA Media, the prime minister has said he will "listen" to voters but will "keep going" after the double by-election defeat.On his way to Rwanda, he told journalists: "Governing parties generally do not win byelections, particularly not in midterm. You know, I'm very hopeful, but you know, there you go.Asked to confirm he was not considering his future, he replied: "Are you crazy?"However, the resignation of Oliver Dowden is putting renewed pressure on the prime minister.Gavin Barwell: Boris Johnson must go to avoid Tories 'sleepwalking into defeat' at general electionGavin Barwell, the chief of staff under former prime minister Theresa May, says the Conservative party risks "sleepwalking into a defeat" at a future general election.  He tells Sky News that the Tiverton & Honiton result is "catastrophic" because "it means there is a whole swathe of seats across the south of the country that are vulnerable".The peer adds: "Finally, finally, somebody in the Cabinet has taken the decision to stand down."If the Conservative party carries on as it is, it is sleepwalking into a defeat at the next election, so I am very pleased that somebody senior in the party has recognised that and done something about it."The party "can't just change the figurehead" - it has to change direction, to avoid this, he argues.Tory MPs play down prospect of Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resignsOliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conferenceIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesTory MPs are playing down the prospect of a Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resigned, following the "poor" by-election results this morning. Rebel backbenchers have urged ministers to act by removing Boris Johnson, after they failed to get enough numbers in the recent vote of no confidence. Dowden's resignation letter was notably absent of any warm words for the prime minister. However Tory MPs said this was unlikely to kick off a wave of colleagues quitting. While one MP told Insider he was hopeful it would trigger others to do the same, colleagues were sceptical. One said it was "doubtful" because "there aren't many decent ones in there".The MP questioned whether Dowden had backed Johnson during the confidence vote, noting his allegiance to David Cameron and Theresa May."The Oliver I know is decent and honourable and will have hated having to defend the indefensible." Another said: "There cannot be a coup, there is no mechanism. Rebels should have waited."Tory MPs: Oliver Dowden not the person to blame for by-election resultsOther Tory MPs have come out swinging after the poor by-election results this morning. Angela Richardson, who quit as Michael Gove's PPS earlier this year over partygate, has praised Oliver Dowden as a "fantastic colleague", adding that he is "most certainly not responsible for these results".Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee, echoes her comments, saying: "An honourable letter from an honourable man. Oliver Dowden is not to blame for these results. Since 2015 I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend. Never more so than today."Dowden's resignation is sending shockwaves through Westminster, after his letter made no reference to ongoing support in Boris Johnson. —Angela Richardson MP (@AJRichardsonMP) June 24, 2022 Tory MP Roger Gale: Boris Johnson 'ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position'Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale has said the prime minister should "honourably" be considering standing down following the by-election results. Gale, who has long criticised Johnson and was among those to go public with his letter of no confidence, says: "Spin them how you like the by- election results in Tiverton & Honiton and in Wakefield are another vote of no-confidence in a Prime Minister that ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position."Commiserations to Conservative candidates who deserved better. The soul of our Party is at stake."Gale adds: "Oliver Dowden is a decent and honourable man who has clearly decided that he can no longer defend the indefensible."Oliver Dowden's resignation: What happens next?Boris JohnsonJacob King/PA/Getty ImagesThe shock resignation of Oliver Dowden is reopening questions about Boris Johnson's grip on power, just two weeks after he narrowly won a confidence vote among his own MPs. While the rules of the party mean the prime minister should theoretically be safe from challenges for another year, sources have told Insider that those rules are not set in stone. Simply put, if there are enough calls for him to go from new corners, we could see another vote in weeks or months. Dowden's resignation is also likely to bring foward the reshuffle, which was expected to be held in July. However Johnson is currently in Rwanda and has a string of international events to attend that will keep him out of the country until next week. One MP told Insider: "He has to replace Dowden. He can do it anywhere, anytime, but assume he will want to be in Downing Street."More immediately, the question is who will replace Dowden on the morning's media round?Oliver Dowden's resignation letter in fullOliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, has resigned following the dire by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Here is his letter in full. —Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 24, 2022 Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesKier Starmer (right) campaigning alongside Simon LightwoodIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".This is likely an allusion to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Tory candidate in Tiverton & Honiton 'locked herself in room'Shortly before the results were announced at Tiverton & Honiton this morning, it seems the Conservative candidate Helen Hurford locked herself in a room. —Tess de la Mare (@TessdelaMare) June 24, 2022 —Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) June 24, 2022 Number crunching: The vote in Tiverton & HonitonThe result in Wakefield is a big loss to Boris Johnson's Conservatives, who have spent much political capital courting the Red Wall vote. However, the result in Tiverton & Honiton will arguably worry the Tories more. The majority was much higher, meaning Richard Foord's success required a larger swing. Much like North Shropshire, which the party lost late last year, it is a 'Blue Wall' seat of traditional Tory voters. It was also predominantly a Leave-backing seat. All that will make today's results pretty grim reading for the party. Here's what the figures look like: —Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Richard Foord: Boris Johnson has overstayed his welcomeRichard Foord (C) reacts to the result in Tiverton & Honiton on June 24, 2022Finnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesThe Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturned a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30 per cent – to take Tiverton & Honiton from the Tories. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's beleagured leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister ande demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energeised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albiet with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johsnon as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Boris Johnson vows to "listen" after minister quits after Tories lose Wakefield, Tiverton

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from the Conservatives. Oliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conferenceIan Forsyth/Getty Images Boris Johnson has vowed to "listen" to voters after the Tories were defeated in two by-elections. Oliver Dowden has quit as Conservative Party chairman, citing multiple "poor results" at the polls. That has renewed speculation that a summer reshuffle is on the cards – or that a coup may be imminent. Boris Johnson has vowed to "listen" to voters after a Cabinet minister resigned following defeats in two by-elections overnight. Labour gained the Red Wall seat of Wakefield, which it had lost in 2019, while the Liberal Democrats took Tiverton & Honiton with an historic swing against the Tories. Johnson sought to play down suggestions the result was down to his role in partygate, instead blaming mid-term slumps and the economy. He said: "We have got to listen to what people are saying, particularly in the difficulties over the cost of living, which for most people is the number one issue."Early Friday morning, Oliver Dowden resigned as Conservative Party Chairman, saying the results were "the latest in a run of very poor results for our party". He added: "Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings. We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office."Dowden's letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party. Boris Johnson plays down partygate, blames mid-term slump and economy for by-election resultsBoris Johnson has said he will "listen to what people are saying", as he sought to play down the impact of partygate on the by-election results. The prime minister thanked Oliver Dowden as an "excellent party chairman", adding it was "absolutely true we have had some tough by-election results, [but] they have been a reflection foa  lot of things".He tells broadcasters: "We have got to recognise that voters are going through a tough time at the moment. We have got to listen to what people are saying, particularly in the difficulties over the cost of living, which for most people is the number one issue."However Johnson stressed that "mid-term governments, post-war, lose by-elections". Asked about the Sue Gray report into lockdown-busting parties held in Downing Street, he added: "Historically, over the last 50 years or more, you have seen governments punished at the polls mid-term, particularly when people are feeling economic pressures."Ed Davey: Voters will 'send Tory MPs packing' if they don't sack Boris JohnsonEd Davey (R) with newly-elected Tiverton MP Richard Foord on the campaign trailFinnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesOliver Dowden might be absent from the morning round, but Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is more than happy to go on the air after the historic by-election result this morning. Davey tells Sky News: "If Conservative MPs don't wake up, at the next election voters will send them packing."He argues that the Tiverton & Honiton win "isn't a flash in the pan – this is a series of victories aginst the Conservatives for the Lib Dems", after similar successes in Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire. Davey adds: "[Tory MPs] have he power to dispatch this prime minsiter. If they dont do that I think the voters will wreak their revenge... the fact Tory MPs won't do the decent thing, won't listen to the people, mean they will pay the price at the next election."Lord Frost: By-election results are 'terrible' for Tories – but not great for Labour or Lib DemsFormer minister Lord Frost says the by-election results are "terrible" for the Tories but are not "particularly good" for Labour or the Liberal Democrats either. Frost, who has been increasingly critical of Boris Johnson, said: "In contrast to many 'normal' mid-term by-elections, these do not show strong protest votes for the opposition."They show people who voted for us in 2019 refusing to come out and do so again. We as Conservatives must decide why that is, and what we do about it."What will Boris Johnson do now?Boris Johnson is thousands of miles away from home, in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. According to PA Media, the prime minister has said he will "listen" to voters but will "keep going" after the double by-election defeat.On his way to Rwanda, he told journalists: Governing parties generally do not win byelections, particularly not in midterm. You know, I'm very hopeful, but you know, there you go.Asked to confirm he was not considering his future, he replied: "Are you crazy?"However, the resignation of Oliver Dowden is putting renewed pressure on the prime minister.Gavin Barwell: Boris Johnson must go to avoid Tories 'sleepwalking into defeat' at general electionGavin Barwell, the chief of staff under former prime minister Theresa May, says the Conservative party risks "sleepwalking into a defeat" at a future general election.  He tells Sky News that the Tiverton & Honiton result is "catastrophic" because "it means there is a whole swathe of seats across the south of the country that are vulnerable".The peer adds: "Finally, finally, somebody in the Cabinet has taken the decision to stand down."If the Conservative party carries on as it is, it is sleepwalking into a defeat at the next election, so I am very pleased that somebody senior in the party has recognised that and done something about it."The party "can't just change the figurehead" - it has to change direction, to avoid this, he argues.Tory MPs play down prospect of Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resignsOliver Dowden and Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conferenceIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesTory MPs are playing down the prospect of a Cabinet coup after Oliver Dowden resigned, following the "poor" by-election results this morning. Rebel backbenchers have urged ministers to act by removing Boris Johnson, after they failed to get enough numbers in the recent vote of no confidence. Dowden's resignation letter was notably absent of any warm words for the prime minister. However Tory MPs said this was unlikely to kick off a wave of colleagues quitting. One said it was "doubtful" because "there aren't many decent ones in there".The MP questioned whether Dowden had backed Johnson during the confidence vote, noting his allegiance to David Cameron and Theresa May."The Oliver I know is decent and honourable and will have hated having to defend the indefensible." Another said: "There cannot be a coup, there is no mechanism. Rebels should have waited."Tory MPs: Oliver Dowden not the person to blame for by-election resultsOther Tory MPs have come out swinging after the poor by-election results this morning. Angela Richardson, who quit as Michael Gove's PPS earlier this year over partygate, has praised Oliver Dowden as a "fantastic colleague", adding that he is "most certainly not responsible for these results".Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee, echoes her comments, saying: "An honourable letter from an honourable man. Oliver Dowden is not to blame for these results. Since 2015 I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend. Never more so than today."Dowden's resignation is sending shockwaves through Westminster, after his letter made no reference to ongoing support in Boris Johnson. —Angela Richardson MP (@AJRichardsonMP) June 24, 2022 Tory MP Roger Gale: Boris Johnson 'ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position'Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale has said the prime minister should "honourably" be considering standing down following the by-election results. Gale, who has long criticised Johnson and was among those to go public with his letter of no confidence, says: "Spin them how you like the by- election results in Tiverton & Honiton and in Wakefield are another vote of no-confidence in a Prime Minister that ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position."Commiserations to Conservative candidates who deserved better. The soul of our Party is at stake."Gale adds: "Oliver Dowden is a decent and honourable man who has clearly decided that he can no longer defend the indefensible."Oliver Dowden's resignation: What happens next?Boris JohnsonJacob King/PA/Getty ImagesThe shock resignation of Oliver Dowden is reopening questions about Boris Johnson's grip on power, just two weeks after he narrowly won a confidence vote among his own MPs. While the rules of the party mean the prime minister should theoretically be safe from challenges for another year, sources have told Insider that those rules are not set in stone. Simply put, if there are enough calls for him to go from new corners, we could see another vote in weeks or months. Dowden's resignation is also likely to bring foward the reshuffle, which was expected to be held in July. However Johnson is currently in Rwanda and has a string of international events to attend that will keep him out of the country until next week. One MP told Insider: "He has to replace Dowden. He can do it anywhere, anytime, but assume he will want to be in Downing Street."More immediately, the question is who will replace Dowden on the morning's media round?Oliver Dowden's resignation letter in fullOliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, has resigned following the dire by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Here is his letter in full. —Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 24, 2022 Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesKier Starmer (right) campaigning alongside Simon LightwoodIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".This is likely an allusion to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Tory candidate in Tiverton & Honiton 'locked herself in room'Shortly before the results were announced at Tiverton & Honiton this morning, it seems the Conservative candidate Helen Hurford locked herself in a room. —Tess de la Mare (@TessdelaMare) June 24, 2022 —Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) June 24, 2022 Number crunching: The vote in Tiverton & HonitonThe result in Wakefield is a big loss to Boris Johnson's Conservatives, who have spent much political capital courting the Red Wall vote. However, the result in Tiverton & Honiton will arguably worry the Tories more. The majority was much higher, meaning Richard Foord's success required a larger swing. Much like North Shropshire, which the party lost late last year, it is a 'Blue Wall' seat of traditional Tory voters. It was also predominantly a Leave-backing seat. All that will make today's results pretty grim reading for the party. Here's what the figures look like: —Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Richard Foord: Boris Johnson has overstayed his welcomeRichard Foord (C) reacts to the result in Tiverton & Honiton on June 24, 2022Finnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesThe Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturned a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30 per cent – to take Tiverton & Honiton from the Tories. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's beleagured leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister ande demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energeised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albiet with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johsnon as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Oliver Dowden quits as Conservative chairman after party loses two by-elections

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from key Conservative seats. Culture secretary Oliver DowdenDavid Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images Boris Johnson's Conservatives have two both by-elections, adding fresh pressure onto the prime minister.  Oliver Dowden has quit as Conservative Party chairman, citing multiple "poor results" at the polls. That has renewed speculation that a summer reshuffle is on the cards – or that a coup may be imminent. Oliver Dowden has stepped down as Conservative Party Chairman, after losing two seats overnight. The minister said he was resigning "with great sadness" but noted that Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton were "the latest in a run of very poor results for our party". He added: "Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings. We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office."His decision has renewed suggestions there could be a reshuffle in the next month, but it also puts pressure back onto Boris Johnson, following his recent leadership threat. Dowden's letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party. Tory MPs: Oliver Dowden not the person to blame for by-election resultsOther Tory MPs have come out swinging after the poor by-election results this morning. Angela Richardson, who quit as Michael Gove's PPS earlier this year over partygate, has praised Oliver Dowden as a "fantastic colleague", adding that he is "most certainly not responsible for these results".Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland committee, echoes her comments, saying: "An honourable letter from an honourable man. Oliver Dowden is not to blame for these results. Since 2015 I have always been proud to call Oliver a friend. Never more so than today."Dowden's resignation is sending shockwaves through Westminster, after his letter made no reference to ongoing support in Boris Johnson. —Angela Richardson MP (@AJRichardsonMP) June 24, 2022 Tory MP Roger Gale: Boris Johnson 'ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position'Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale has said the prime minister should "honourably" be considering standing down following the by-election results. Gale, who has long criticised Johnson and was among those to go public with his letter of no confidence, says: "Spin them how you like the by- election results in Tiverton & Honiton and in Wakefield are another vote of no-confidence in a Prime Minister that ought to honourably this morning be re-considering his position."Commiserations to Conservative candidates who deserved better. The soul of our Party is at stake."Gale adds: "Oliver Dowden is a decent and honourable man who has clearly decided that he can no longer defend the indefensible."Oliver Dowden's resignation: What happens next?Boris JohnsonJacob King/PA/Getty ImagesThe shock resignation of Oliver Dowden is reopening questions about Boris Johnson's grip on power, just two weeks after he narrowly won a confidence vote among his own MPs. While the rules of the party mean the prime minister should theoretically be safe from challenges for another year, sources have told Insider that those rules are not set in stone. Simply put, if there are enough calls for him to go from new corners, we could see another vote in weeks or months. Dowden's resignation is also likely to bring foward the reshuffle, which was expected to be held in July. However Johnson is currently in Rwanda and has a string of international events to attend that will keep him out of the country until next week. One MP told Insider: "He has to replace Dowden. He can do it anywhere, anytime, but assume he will want to be in Downing Street."More immediately, the question is who will replace Dowden on the morning's media round?Oliver Dowden's resignation letter in fullOliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, has resigned following the dire by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Here is his letter in full. —Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 24, 2022 Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesKier Starmer (right) campaigning alongside Simon LightwoodIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".This is likely an allusion to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Tory candidate in Tiverton & Honiton 'locked herself in room'Shortly before the results were announced at Tiverton & Honiton this morning, it seems the Conservative candidate Helen Hurford locked herself in a room. —Tess de la Mare (@TessdelaMare) June 24, 2022 —Theo Usherwood (@theousherwood) June 24, 2022 Number crunching: The vote in Tiverton & HonitonThe result in Wakefield is a big loss to Boris Johnson's Conservatives, who have spent much political capital courting the Red Wall vote. However, the result in Tiverton & Honiton will arguably worry the Tories more. The majority was much higher, meaning Richard Foord's success required a larger swing. Much like North Shropshire, which the party lost late last year, it is a 'Blue Wall' seat of traditional Tory voters. It was also predominantly a Leave-backing seat. All that will make today's results pretty grim reading for the party. Here's what the figures look like: —Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Richard Foord: Boris Johnson has overstayed his welcomeThe Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturned a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30 per cent – to take Tiverton & Honiton from the Tories. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's beleagured leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister ande demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energeised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albiet with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johsnon as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Oliver Dowden quits as Conservative chairman as party loses two by-elections

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from key Conservative seats. Culture secretary Oliver DowdenDavid Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images Boris Johnson's Conservatives have two both by-elections, adding fresh pressure onto the prime minister.  Oliver Dowden has quit as Conservative Party chairman, citing multiple "poor results" at the polls. That has renewed speculation that a summer reshuffle is on the cards. Oliver Dowden has stepped down as Conservative Party Chairman, after losing two seats overnight. The minister said he was resigning "with great sadness" but noted that Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton were "the latest in a run of very poor results for our party". He added: "Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings. We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office."His decision has renewed suggestions there could be a reshuffle in the next month, but it also puts pressure back onto Boris Johnson, following his recent leadership threat. It is not clear whether Ben Elliot, the party co-chair who is not a minister, will also be resigning. Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albiet with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johsnon as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister ande demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energeised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesKier Starmer (right) campaigning alongside Simon LightwoodIan Forsyth/Getty ImagesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".This is likely an allusion to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Richard Ford: Boris Johnson has overstayed his welcomeBoris Johnson is under fresh pressure to keep his job, after losing two key seats overnight in by-elections held in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. The Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturned a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30 per cent. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's beleagured leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Oliver Dowden's resignation letter in fullOliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, has resigned following the dire by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Here is his letter in full. —Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 24, 2022 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

Live by-election updates: Boris Johnson"s Conservatives lose two by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton

The by-election results in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton are piling fresh pressure onto Boris Johnson, as voters turn from key Conservative seats. Boris Johnson during a visit to Kigali, Rwanda, in June 2022.Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Boris Johnson's Conservatives have two both by-elections, adding fresh pressure onto the prime minister.  The Wakefield race was triggered after a former Tory MP was jailed for sexually abusing a 15-year-old. Tiverton & Honiton was sparked by the resignation of Neil Parish, who watched porn in the Commons. Boris Johnson is under fresh pressure to keep his job, after losing two key seats overnight in by-elections held in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton. Wakefield, a Red Wall constituency in the North of England, was won by Labour's Simon Lightwood with a majority of almost 5,000. Tiverton & Honinton, a more traditional Conservative seat, also fell, with the Liberal Democrats' Richard Foord overturning a majority of more than 24,000 – a swing of almost 30 per cent. Foord said it was a referendum on Johnson's beleagured leadership, after 148 of his own MPs voted against the prime minister."There is a real feeling now that he has overstayed his welcome as our prime minister," Foord told Sky News.Analysis: Pressure is on after Tories lose both by-electionsGood Morning. The UK is waking up to the news that the Conservatives have lost both by-elections, piling further pressure onto Boris Johnson. The Red Wall seat of Wakefield had been expected to swing back to Labour, but Tories had still be hopeful that Tiverton & Honiton would remain blue, albiet with a smaller majority. But the by-election has ended such hopes, and laid bare the scale of the challenge now facing Johnson's Conservatives in both the Red Wall and traditional Tory areas."It would be a real mistake for the Conservatives to retain Boris Johsnon as their leader and it could be electoral suicide for them," Richard Foord told Sky News after winning.He said Johnson should take a lesson from Neil Parish, his predecessor, who resigned over allegations he was watching pornography in the House of Commons.Number crunching: The vote in WakefieldThe Red Wall seat of Wakefield has returned to Labour, after it fell to the Conservatives in 2019. The party's Simon Lightwood won the seat with nearly half the total votes - here is how that looks:—Britain Elects (@BritainElects) June 24, 2022 Simon Lightwood: I am still waiting for Boris Johnson to come to WakefieldSimon Lightwood, middle, in Wakefield ahead of the resultsIan Forsyth/Getty ImageThe new Labour MP for Wakefield has criticised Boris Johnson for not turning up once to campaign in the seat. Speaking to Sky News after his win, Simon Lightwood said: "People are absolutely tired of the lies and deceit that we have seen from the prime minister ande demanding change and tonight is a demonstration of that."He defended Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has been criticised for not being more forceful in pushing back against Johnson. "I think we have seen here in Wakefield that he is making the impact we need to make and making progress for the Labour Party," Lightwood said. "[Starmer] has been here three times, and really energeised the campaign and I am still waiting for the prime minister."Keir Starmer: Country has lost confidence in the ToriesSir Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, has said the win in Wakefield shows "the country has lost confidence in the Tories".This is likely an allusion to the confidence vote in Boris Johnson, in which 148 of his own backbencher voted against him.Starmer adds:"This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better."Wakefield has voted Labour because we have the solutions for the challenges facing the British people. The Labour Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before, and ready for government." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

Escobar: Exile On Main Street - The Sound Of The Unipolar World Fading Away

Escobar: Exile On Main Street - The Sound Of The Unipolar World Fading Away Authored by Pepe Escobar, The future world order, already in progress, will be formed by strong sovereign states. The ship has sailed. There’s no turning back. Let’s cut to the chase and roll in the Putin Top Ten of the New Era, announced by the Russian President live at the St. Petersburg forum  for both the Global North and South. The era of the unipolar world is over. The rupture with the West is irreversible and definitive. No pressure from the West will change it. Russia has renewed with its sovereignty. Reinforcement of political and economic sovereignty is an absolute priority. The EU has completely lost its political sovereignty. The current crisis shows the EU is not ready to play the role of an independent, sovereign actor. It’s just en ensemble of American vassals deprived of any politico-military sovereignty. Sovereignty cannot be partial. Either you’re a sovereign or a colony. Hunger in the poorest nations will be on the conscience of the West and euro-democracy. Russia will supply grains to the poorer nations in Africa and the Middle East. Russia will invest in internal economic development and reorientation of trade towards nations independent of the U.S. The future world order, already in progress, will be formed by strong sovereign states. The ship has sailed. There’s no turning back. How does it feel, for the collective West, to be caught in such a crossfire hurricane? Well, it gets more devastating when we add to the new roadmap the latest on the energy front. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, in St. Petersburg, stressed that the global economic crisis is gaining momentum not because of sanctions, but exacerbated by them; Europe “commits energy suicide” by sanctioning Russia; sanctions against Russia have done away with the much lauded “green transition”, as that is no longer needed to manipulate markets; and Russia, with its vast energy potential, “is the Noah’s Ark of the world economy.” For his part Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller could not be more scathing on the sharp decline in the gas flow to the EU due to Siemens’ refusal and/or incapacity to repair the Nord Stream 1 pumping engine: “Well, of course, Gazprom was forced to reduce the volume of gas supplies to Europe by 20%+. But you know, prices have increased not by 20%+, but by several times! Therefore, I’m sorry if I say that we don’t feel offended by anyone, we are not particularly concerned by this situation.” If this pain dial overdrive was not enough to hurl the collective West – or NATOstan – into Terminal Hysteria, then Putin’s sharp comment on possibly allowing Mr. Sarmat to present his business card to “decision-making centers in Kiev”, those that are ordering the current shelling and killing of civilians in Donetsk, definitely did the trick: “As for the red lines, let me keep them to myself, because this will mean quite tough actions on the decision-making centers. But this is an area that shouldn’t be disclosed to people outside the military-political leadership of the country. Those who deserve appropriate actions on our part should draw a conclusion for themselves – what they may face if they cross the line.” Baby please, stop breaking down Alastair Crooke has masterfully outlined  how the collective West’s zugzwang leaves it lumbering around, dazed and confused. Now let’s examine the state of play on the opposite side of the chessboard, focusing on the BRICS summit this Thursday in Beijing. As much as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN, now it’s time for a reinvigorated BRICS to step up its game. In conjunction, these are the key organizations/instruments that will be carving the pathways towards the post-unipolar era. Both China and India (which between them were the largest economies in the world for centuries before the brief Western colonial interregnum) are already close and getting closer to “the Noah’s Ark of the world economy”. The G20 – hostages of the Michael Hudson-defined FIRE scam that is the core of the financialized neoliberal casino – is slowly fading away, while a potential new G8 ramps up: and that is directly connected to BRICS expansion, one of the key themes of this week’s summit. An expanded BRICS with a parallel G8 configuration is bound to easily overtake the Western-centric one in importance as well as GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP). BRICS in 2021 already added Bangladesh, Egypt, the UAE and Uruguay to its New Development Bank (NDB). In May, at Foreign Ministry-level debates, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Thailand were added to the 5 BRICS members. Leaders of some of these nations will be connected to the Beijing summit. BRICS plays a completely different game from the G20. They aim for the grassroots, and it’s all about slowly “building trust” – a very Chinese concept. They are creating an independent Credit Rating Agency – away from the Anglo-American racket – and deepening a Currency Reserves Arrangement. The NDB – including its regional offices in India and South Africa – has been involved in hundreds of projects. Time will tell: one day the NDB will make the World Bank superfluous. Comparisons between BRICS and the Quad, a U.S. concoction, are silly. Quad is just another crude mechanism to contain China. Yet there’s no question India treads on tightrope walker territory, as it’s a member of both BRICS and Quad, and made a vastly misguided decision to walk out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – the largest free trade deal on the planet – opting instead to adhere to the American pie-in-the-sky Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). Yet India, long term, skillfully guided by Russia, is being steered to find essential common ground with China in several key issues. BRICS, especially in its expanded BRICS+ version, is bound to increase cooperation on building truly stable supply chains, and a settlement mechanism for resources and raw material trade, which inevitably has to be based in local currencies. Then the path will be open for the Holy Grail: a BRICS payment system as a credible alternative to the weaponized U.S. dollar and SWIFT. Meanwhile, a torrent of bilateral investments from both China and India in the manufacturing and services sector around their neighbors is bound to lift up smaller players in both Southeast Asia and South Asia: think Cambodia and Bangladesh as important cogs in a vast supply wheel. Yaroslav Lissovolik had already proposed a BEAMS concept as the core of this BRICS integration drive, uniting “the key regional integration initiatives of BRICS economies such as BIMSTEC, EAEU, the ASEAN-China free trade agreement, Mercosur and SADC/SACU.” It’s only (BRICS) rock’n roll Now Beijing seems eager to promote “an inclusive format for dialogue spanning all the main regions of the Global South via aggregating the regional integration platforms in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America. Going forward this format may be further expanded to include other regional integration blocks from Eurasia, such as the GCC, EAEU and others.” Lissovolik notes how the ideal path from now on should be “the greater inclusivity of BRICS via the BRICS+ framework that allows smaller economies that are the regional partners of BRICS to have a say in the new global governance framework.” Before he addressed the St. Petersburg forum on video, President Xi called Putin personally to say, among other things, that he’s got China’s back on all “sovereignty and security” themes. They also, inevitably, discussed the relevance of BRICS as a key platform towards the multipolar world. Meanwhile, the collective West plunges deeper into the maelstrom. A massive national demonstration of trade unions this past Monday paralyzed Brussels – the capital of the EU and NATO – as 80,000 people expressed their anger at the rising and rising cost of living; called for elites to “spend money on salaries, not on weapons”; and yelled in unison “Stop NATO.” It’s zugzwang all over again. The EU’s “direct losses”, as Putin stressed, provoked by the sanctions hysteria, “could exceed $400 billion a year”. Russia’s energy earnings have hit record levels. The ruble is at a 7-year high against the euro. It’s a blast that arguably the most powerful cultural artifact of the entire Cold War – and Western supremacy – era, the perennial Rolling Stones, is currently on tour across a “caught in a crossfire hurricane” EU. On every show they play, for the first time live, one of their early classics: ‘Out of Time’. Sounds much like a requiem. So let’s all sing, “Baby baby baby / you’re out of time”, as one Vladimir “it’s a gas, gas, gas” Putin and his sidekick Dmitry “Under My Thumb” Medvedev seem to be the guys really getting their rocks off. It’s only (BRICS) rock’n roll, but we like it. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 24th, 2022

Deals by Cenovus and BP Dominate Oil & Gas Stock Roundup

Apart from Cenovus Energy (CVE) and BP plc (BP), Eni (E), Cheniere Energy (LNG) and Matador Resources (MTDR) hog the limelight during the week. It was a forgettable week for both oil and natural gas.On the news front, Calgary-based energy behemoth Cenovus Energy CVE agreed to take over the remaining 50% stake in northern Alberta’s oilsands project, while London-based supermajor BP plc BP announced the acquisition of a 40.5% share in an ambitious green hydrogen project in Australia. Developments associated with Eni E, Cheniere Energy LNG and Matador Resources MTDR also made it to the headlines.Overall, it was a dismal seven-day period for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost as much as 9.2% to close at $109.56 per barrel, while natural gas prices plunged more than 21% to end at $6.944 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). In particular, the oil market reversed its course after rising for seven weeks in a row.Coming back to the week ended Jun 17, the gloomy oil price action could be attributed to investors’ tryst with recessionary fears. In the wake of the central bank’s decision to hike the interest rate by a record-high 75 basis points in June and the possibility of doing the same in July, the commodity came under extreme pressure. Per a large section of market watchers, prolonged supply-chain devastation, stemming from China’s stringent COVID-19 curbs and the termination of the easy-money policy, is likely to slow the economy and, as an extension, crude demand. A stronger greenback, which can weaken dollar-denominated commodities like crude, also contributed to the decline.Natural gas notched a more severe weekly loss despite healthy demand, primarily due to the possibility of protracted downtime associated with the fire breakout at the Freeport LNG export plant in Texas.Recap of the Week’s Most-Important Stories1. Canadian integrated oil and gas firm Cenovus Energy announced that it would acquire the remaining 50% interest in the country’s Sunrise oil-sand project from British energy major BP. The transaction involves a cash consideration of $600 million and a variable payment of $600 million expiring after two years. The acquisition, expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022, will strengthen Cenovus’ position in the oil-sand industry.The Sunrise oil-sand project currently produces 50,000 barrels per day (bpd). Cenovus, the project’s operator, expects to achieve a production capacity of 60,000 bpd through a multi-year development program. As part of the agreement, Cenovus will give up its 35% interest in Canada’s Bay du Nord oil project to BP.The acquisition enables Cenovus to gain from the significant optimization opportunities available. With its cutting-edge operating methods, Cenovus expects to increase production at Sunrise, while reducing sustaining capital, operating expenses and emission intensity. (Cenovus to Acquire Remaining Stake in BP's Sunrise Project)2. BP entered an agreement to acquire a 40.5% interest in a renewable energy project in Australia, capable of becoming one of the leading producers of green hydrogen globally. The London-based firm is taking the initiative on the project, known as the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (“AREH”), to produce large amounts of hydrogen from renewable energy in Australia’s Outback.As part of the deal, BP will take over the operatorship of the renewable energy project from Jul 1, 2022. The project is expected to cover a 2,500-square-mile area, which is greater than the size of Delaware. Notably, the company did not reveal any financial details of the agreement.AREH attempts to produce onshore wind and solar electricity in multiple phases to a total capacity of up to 26 gigawatts. This is equivalent to producing more than 90 terawatt-hours per year, which is one-third of the overall electricity generated in Australia in 2020. (BP to Acquire Stake in Australia's Renewable Energy Project)3   Rome-based energy biggie Eni has been selected by Qatar Energy for the North Field expansion project to improve Qatar’s position as a major liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) exporter globally. Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine brought pressure across the world to develop alternative energy sources as Western countries seek new supplies after phasing out purchases of Russian oil.The Eni-Qatar Energy joint venture will hold a 12.5% interest in the North Field expansion project, which includes four mega LNG trains with a combined capacity of 32 million tons per annum (Mtpa). Qatar Energy will own a 75% stake in the joint venture, while Eni will own the rest.The North Field expansion project is expected to raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 Mtpa to 110 Mtpa. The $30-billion project is likely to commence production in the fourth quarter of 2025. (Eni Joins Qatar Gas Project to Increase LNG Exports)4    The Houston, TX-based natural gas exporter, Cheniere Energy, recently announced that it entered into an LNG sale and purchase agreement with the Norwegian state-owned energy firm, Equinor ASA.Per the terms of the deal, Equinor will buy roughly 1.75 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Cheniere on a free-on-board basis for about 15 years. The delivery under the agreement is set to commence in the second half of 2026 and reach the full 1.75-mtpa figure by the second half of 2027.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Jack Fusco, LNG’s President and Chief Executive Officer, mentioned that EQNR is one of Europe’s top energy companies and that his firm is excited to form a long-term partnership with an organization that shares the common ambition for a sustainable future. He added that this deal further cements Cheniere’s leadership in supplying reliable and cleaner-burning long-term LNG. (Cheniere Signs a Long-Term LNG Sale Deal With Equinor)5.  U.S. energy explorer Matador Resources announced its intent to increase its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share, representing a 100% hike from 5 cents initiated last October.MTDR expects the board of directors to implement the raised dividend with its next quarterly distribution, which is expected in the third quarter of this year. The prime priorities, which Matador has set for this year, are lowering debt, delivering significant free cash flows and maintaining or increasing dividends.The change in the company’s dividend policy reflects its enhanced financial and operational ability. The increment in the quarterly dividend represents Matador’s strong focus on returning capital to stockholders. Along with its aim to return capital to stockholders, the company focuses on paying down its debt. (Matador Announces a 100% Hike in Its Quarterly Dividend)Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some major oil and gas players over the past week and during the last six months.Company    Last Week    Last 6 MonthsXOM              -14.3%               +45.6%CVX               -15.4%               +30.6%COP              -19.8%               +36.7%OXY               -12.8%               +106.4%SLB               -22.4%               +28.7%RIG               -20%                   +30.7%VLO              -20%                   +57.7%MPC             -19.4%                +37.6%With oil being deep in red for the week, stocks were in freefall too. In fact, the Energy Select Sector SPDR — a popular way to track energy companies — plunged 17.2% last week. But over the past six months, the sector tracker has increased 34.8%.What’s Next in the Energy World?Following last week’s commodity price crash, market participants will closely track the regular releases to look for further guidance on the direction of prices. In this context, the U.S. government’s statistics on oil and natural gas — one of the few solid indicators that come out regularly — will be on energy traders' radar. Data on rig count from the oilfield service firm Baker Hughes, which is a pointer to the trends in U.S. crude production, is closely followed too. News related to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine geopolitical conflict and the potential demand loss from fresh coronavirus curbs in China will be the other factors that will dictate the near-term price movement for oil. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BP p.l.c. (BP): Free Stock Analysis Report Eni SpA (E): Free Stock Analysis Report Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE): Free Stock Analysis Report Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG): Free Stock Analysis Report Matador Resources Company (MTDR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 22nd, 2022