On FT Energy Source (a somewhat belated edition due to oil companies reporting today):
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Oil prices managed a partial recovery on Thursday after falling more than $2 a barrel in the previous session, while base metals were firmer as commodity markets steadied ahead of data expected to show that the US economy escaped recession in the third quarter.
The consensus forecast was for US gross domestic product to have expanded at an annualised rate of 3.2 per cent in the third quarter following an 0.7 per cent contraction in the previous three months.
Nymex December West Texas Intermediate rose 44 cents at $77.90 a barrel, while ICE December Brent added 44 cents at $76.30 a barrel.
Shell hasn’t impressed the market with its results today, especially after BP beat expectations rather more handily on Tuesday with its blockbuster savings. Shell’s $1bn savings looked smaller by comparison, even though the company confirmed it is laying off some 5 per cent of its workforce.
CFO Simon Henry, who presented the results today, maintained a very bearish tone on the macroeconomic outlook and on the oil markets in particular, pointing out the familiar story of inventories: an extra 1m barrels, he says, would need to come out of stocks every day for a year to take stored oil back to average levels. Read more