The Week In Numbers Where Next For Oil?

According to Goldman Sachs, commodities are unlikely to recover anytime soon. The investment bank reckons that the commodities slump could continue because of excess supplies. It believes that weaker currencies in producing countries could encourage a robust output of raw materials sold for US dollars, even during bear markets.

Citigroup concurs. It said it is hard to argue that most prices have already bottomed. Goldman Sachs thinks the odds are increasing that oil could slump near US$20 a barrel. Hold that thought….

…according to the boss of a major oil company, oil market are beginning to recover but the scale of global oversupply means that prices may only rise slowly. Ben van Beurden, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, said that many American oil producers would struggle to refinance while prices remained low, leading to lower output in the future. Crude is trading around US$50 a barrel, down from around US$90 a year earlier.

An historic trade deal has been agreed between 12 countries in the Pacific Rim. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which took five years to negotiate, has finally been signed. The 12 TPP countries include the US, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia. If implemented, it would create the world’s largest free-trade area, encompassing 40% of the global economy.

A couple of two left-leaning non-profit groups, estimate that 500 of America’s largest companies hold more than US$2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore. They reckon that Apple was holding US$181b offshore; General Electric has booked US$119b offshore, while Microsoft is holding US$108b in five tax haven subsidiaries. Pfizer is holding US$74b in 151 subsidiaries.

A property consultant estimates that average monthly gross rents in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD) fell by 4.1% between July and September compared to the previous quarter. Rents fell 5.5% in Marina Bay and 3.4% in Raffles Place. Hold that thought….

…. according to Moody’s, the outlook for Singapore Real Estate Investment Trusts remains positive despite softer demand and rising supply. It reckons that while overall occupancy and rental rates could be under pressure, staggered lease expiry and proactive lease management could limit the downside.

And finally, more than 200 new species of flora and fauna have been discovered in the fragile eastern Himalayas in recent years. They include a “walking” fish, a monkey that sneezes when it rains, a viper that looks like a piece of jewellery and a “Dracula” fish with fangs. Oh what a wonderful world!

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo owns shares in Royal Dutch Shell.