Also: Coal markets rocked by Eskom’s ambitious plan
Oil prices are remaining at firm levels, buttressed by perceived supply side risks," David Moore, a resource analyst at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a research note.
The quarrel between Venezuela and Exxon has helped oil prices bounce back from this year's low of $86.11, but analysts said worries about the U.S. economy could cap oil's gains. U.S. data also suggested bubbling price pressures, raising the possibility of stagflation -- simultaneously slowing growth and rising inflation.
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ESKOM’s plan to buy an additional 45-million tons of coal to replenish depleted stockpiles has been met with incredulity internationally, with analysts saying it overlooks severe global coal supply constraints, logistical challenges and price concerns.
This could be the first time that SA, a net exporter of coal, imports coal. A New York-based analyst, who declined to be named, said on Friday Eskom’s plan could be hampered severely by tight global supply caused by Indian and Chinese demand.