Oil drops as lockdowns widen and U.S. election looms
Oil prices continued to fall on Monday on worries that widening coronavirus lockdowns in Europe would weaken fuel demand while concerns remain over potential turbulence resulting from this week’s U.S. presidential election. Countries across Europe have re-imposed lockdown measures to try to slow COVID-19 infection rates that have accelerated over the past month.
Sharply rising Libyan oil production also added to price pressures. Libya’s output stands at about 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), up more than 100,000 bpd from a few days ago.
September Used Class 8 Sales Flat
The price of the average used Class 8 sold in September neared $40,000, building on recent gains, and sales were nearly flat compared with a year earlier, ACT Research reported. Sales reached 20,200 in September, dipping slightly compared with 20,500 a year earlier, but up from 18,500 in August.
The mileage on the average used Class 8 was 453,000 compared with 459,000 miles a year earlier. Its average age was 6 years, six months, compared with 7 years, three months, in the 2019 period.
Top Energy Stories
As crews began returning to U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore facilities on Thursday, this year’s repeated oil and gas production halts were already hitting energy firms’ results. Eight named storms entered the U.S. Gulf of Mexico this year, most spiraling up to damaging storms that required offshore facility evacuations or temporary well shutdowns.
A fresh wave of selling drove oil prices to their lowest level since early June on Thursday, sparked by wagers that fresh lockdowns in Europe will dent commerce and travel, eroding demand for fuel.
Refineries in Europe are reducing throughput as new lockdowns are imposed across the continent to contain the spread of coronavirus while a number of refineries remain closed. Oil companies reported low runs in Q3 and forecasts remained bleak, with a number of companies starting to look into biofuel conversions.
Top Freight Transportation Stories
Intermodal and automotive were the two bright spots for Norfolk Southern in the most recent quarter with volumes growing at 1 percent year-over-year and 6 percent year-over-year, respectively, as overall volume fell 7 percent year-over-year, according to financial filings. The railroad said its intermodal volume is growing as a result of a tight trucking market and growing e-commerce sales in the United States, according to comments by executives on the company’s Wednesday earnings call.
The e-commerce boom has created a ripple effect on the trucking market. Warehouses are popping up in new markets, leading drivers and fleets to visit spots they don’t normally.
Ryder sold a record 8,800 used trucks during Q3, up 66 percent year-over-year, and up 40 percent from Q2, according to Ryder’s Q3 earnings presentation released on Wednesday.
Top Economic Stories
Consumer confidence waned in October, reflecting somewhat less optimism about the jobs market and the U.S. economy in the next six months amid another outbreak of coronavirus cases. The index of consumer confidence dipped to 100.3 this month from a pandemic high of 101.3 in September, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The decline was slightly bigger than Wall Street expected.
Coming off the worst quarter in history, the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace ever in the third quarter as a nation battered by an unprecedented pandemic started to put itself back together, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
Initial jobless claims in regular state programs totaled 751,000 in the week ended Oct. 24, down 40,000 from the prior week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. On an unadjusted basis, the figure decreased by a little more than 28,000.