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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Oil prices eased on Monday as traders awaited more rate hike cues from US and European central banks, with tightening supply and hopes for Chinese stimulus underpinning Brent at $80 a barrel.
Brent crude futures dipped 33 cents, or 0.41 percent, to $80.74 a barrel at 09:47 a.m. Saudi time. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $76.75 a barrel, down 32 cents, or 0.42 percent.
Brent crude and WTI benchmarks rose 1.5 percent and 2.2 percent respectively last week, their fourth straight week of gains, as supply is expected to tighten following the output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+.
Investors have priced in quarter-point hikes from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week so the focus will be on what Fed Chair Jerome Powell and ECB President Christine Lagarde say about future rate hikes.
Vitol pays out $2.5bn to shareholders
Global energy trader Vitol paid out $2.5 billion to its employee shareholders in 2023 after posting a record profit of $15 billion last year, company results showed, Reuters reported.
Swiss firm Vitol pays out cash to its over 400 employee shareholders through an annual share buyback scheme. The 2023 buyback comes on top of a $2.5 billion tranche paid out during 2022.
The trading house cashed in on price spikes in global commodity and energy markets last year after Western powers imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Its 2021 profit was $4.2 billion.
Vitol is the world’s largest independent oil trader and a major player in the liquefied natural gas and power markets.
Revenues last year totaled $506 billion, up from $279 billion in 2021.
Chevron’s $6bn Q2 profit tops analysts’ outlook
Chevron Corp.’s second-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates, the company said on Sunday, and CEO Michael Wirth also signaled the No. 2 US oil company remains open to more acquisitions and to increasing shareholder distributions this year.
In a rare preview of its results that coincided with the announced retirement of its finance chief, Chevron disclosed a $6 billion net profit in the quarter ended June 30. Full results will be disclosed on July 28.
While that profit is almost half of the record profit in the same period last year, the $3.08-a-share adjusted profit beat Wall Street’s $2.97-a-share consensus estimate.
“The macro price environment has softened a little bit versus the first quarter,” Wirth said in an interview outlining changes to the company’s financial and operating executive team. “It is still a strong quarter.”
He added: “We had high levels of operating performance (and) very, very little unplanned downtime across our portfolio.”
(With input from Reuters)
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