TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Saturday 12-23-2023

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Tishwash:  Revealing a European visit to Iraq

We learned from well-informed sources that a senior European official intends to visit the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, next week.

According to the sources, “a high-ranking European official intends to visit Baghdad next week.”

Baghdad is witnessing an increasing diplomatic activity, represented by visits conducted by high-level foreign officials during the past months.

This comes in light of assurances from the Iraqi government to follow a moderate approach in relations with the regional environment and the international community.  link

CandyKisses:  Against major currencies. US dollar at 5-month low

Baghdad Today – Follow-up

The US dollar fell against a group of major currencies around the world, on Friday (December 22, 2023), recording its lowest level in nearly five months, affected by data from the slowdown in annual inflation in the United States in November, which reinforced Market expectations about a US interest rate cut in March.

As of November, inflation in America, according to the PCE price index, stood at 2.6 percent, down from 2.9 percent in October.

Excluding volatile food and energy components, the core PCE price index rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in November, the smallest rise since April 2021.

The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring PCE price metrics in the hope of bringing inflation to its target of two percent.

The dollar index fell 0.13 percent in the latest trade to 101.65, its lowest level since late July.

The index has fallen more than two percent over the past two weeks and is heading to end the year down just under two percent.

Sterling rose 0.28 percent to $1.2728 as traders digested data showing British retail sales in November jumped more than expected, but third-quarter GDP was revised downwards.

The dollar rose 0.18 percent against the yen in the latest trade to 142.37 yen, after data from core inflation in Japan slowed sharply in November.

The risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars traded higher during the day. The Australian dollar rose 0.12 percent to $0.6811 after earlier touching $0.6825, the highest level since July.

The New Zealand dollar traded 0.24 percent higher at $0.6309, also a five-month high.

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CandyKisses:   Iraq plans to achieve self-sufficiency in oil products during the second quarter of 2024

Shafaq News / Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Minister of Oil Haiyan Abdul Ghani confirmed on Saturday the ministry’s intention to reach self-sufficiency in oil products during the second quarter of 2024, after the completion of a number of important projects in the liquidation sector.

This came during the opening of the project to complete the fourth refining unit with a capacity of (70) thousand barrels per day at the South Refineries Company in Basra Governorate.

Abdul Ghani said in a speech during the celebration that the operation of this unit will provide large quantities of oil products, including naphtha, gas oil, kerosene, liquid gas, and others to cover a large part of the local need.

The Minister of Oil pointed out that the project was among the priorities of the government program and was completed in a record period by the national effort after the relugation of foreign companies.

For his part, the Director General of the South Refineries Company, Hossam Hussein Wali, said in a speech during the ceremony that the company fulfilled its obligations to the government and the ministry to complete the project within the planned period, stressing that the production of this unit of oil products will cover a large part of the local need, especially gas oil and kerosene, indicating that the company contributes through projects to increase refining capacity to reach the coverage of the local need and improve the quality of oil products.

While the spokesman for the Ministry of Oil, Assem Jihad, said that the opening of the fourth unit with a capacity of (70) thousand barrels per day, will contribute to raising the total refining capacity of the South Refineries Company to 280 thousand barrels per day.

He explained that the small stage will witness the opening of the Azmra unit to improve the quality of products in the refinery, in addition to proceeding with the completion of the (FFC) project, which is one of the promising projects, and represents a qualitative leap in upgrading oil products to (Euro 5).