South Sudan’s parliament passed a 38-billion-pound budget on Friday but about 40 percent of that is unfunded and the government will ask foreign donors for the money, the finance minister said. Three years of conflict and tumbling crude production and prices have hammered oil-producing South Sudan’s economy. Inflation has shot to 835 percent in the year to October, while the official value of the pound has plummeted to 70 to the dollar. Black market rates are even higher. The draft budget figures for 2016/17 had forecast spending of 29.6 billion pounds. The budget approved by parliament saw that rise to 38 billion pounds, with nearly 220 million dollars unfunded. (Reuters)
Russia plans to use its November oil production, which was its highest in almost 30 years, as its baseline when it cuts output under this week’s deal with OPEC, Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said on Friday. Russia has promised to gradually cut output by up to 300,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2017 as part of a deal with other producers aimed at supporting oil prices. Its daily oil production rose to an average of 11.21 million bpd in November, Russia’s highest since the Soviet era, energy ministry data showed on Friday. That was 500,000 bpd higher than in August, the month before Russia and OPEC reached a preliminary agreement in Algiers to cap production. (Reuters)
US employers boosted hiring in November and the unemployment rate dropped to a more than nine-year low of 4.6 percent, making it almost certain that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 178,000 jobs last month after increasing by 142,000 in October, the Labor Department said on Friday. The solid employment gains likely reflect growing confidence in the economy, which has been marked by rising consumer spending and inflation. The unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point last month, hitting its lowest level since August 2007, because more people found work as well as dropped out of the labor force. (Reuters)
OPEC will meet non-OPEC countries to finalize a global oil limiting pact on December 10 in Moscow, two OPEC sources told Reuters on Friday. OPEC agreed this week to reduce output by around 1.2 million barrels per day beginning in January in a bid to reduce global oversupply and prop up prices. It hopes non-OPEC countries will contribute another 600,000 bpd to the cut. Russia has said it will reduce output by around 300,000 bpd. (Reuters)
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and French Minister of Economy and Finance Michel Sapin held a meeting in Moscow on Friday. Sapin, who is on a visit to the Russian capital, on Thursday held a meeting with Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina to discuss economic and financial cooperation between the two countries. He is also expected to meet with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Sputnik reported. Sapin is also due to visit the Renault factory in Moscow.
Germany is prepared to react to any impact on financial markets from Italy's constitutional referendum this weekend, a Finance Ministry spokeswoman said on Friday. “We are always prepared,” Friederike von Tiesenhausen said. There are fears that a No vote could lead to a political impasse, impact Italy’s public finances, and unsettle markets. Von Tiesenhausen declined to comment on possible Italian government aid for ailing bank Monte dei Paschi. She said that EU rules requiring private investors to take losses before banks can be rescued at taxpayers’ expense must be respected. (Reuters)
Russian banks have reserves of 2 trillion rubles ($35.7 billion) in order to increase financing of the economy, Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina said in the State Duma, the Russian lower house of parliament, on Friday. “The capital of banks increased by 1 percent and the capital adequacy ratio is in the comfort zone of 12.7 percent, while the minimum level is 8 percent,” TASS quoted her as saying. “That means that banks have the capital stock in order to increase lending. We estimate the stock at approximately 2.3 trillion rubles,” she said.