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India's Iranian oil imports dip in May as MRPL shut units – tanker data

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NEW DELHI India’s oil imports from Iran fell 3.5 percent in May from the previous month as Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd cut purchases because of the shutdown of some units at its plant.

Indian refiners took about 379,200 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in May, down 13,700 bpd from the 392,900 bpd imported in April, according to preliminary tanker arrival data from trade sources and ship-tracking services on the Thomson Reuters terminal.

May shipments were 3 percent higher than the 368,000 bpd taken in during the same time a year ago, the data showed.

Last month, MRPL shut a 60,000 bpd crude distillation unit, a coker and a diesel hydrotreater, along with some other units because of an acute water shortage in the state of Karnataka where its refinery is located. This caused MRPL’s imports of Iranian crude to drop to 58,000 bpd from about 110,200 bpd in April.

While dipping last month, India’s oil imports from Iran are expected to surge in the coming months when refiners Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp begin lifting Iranian oil.

The nation’s state-owned and private refiners together are expected to buy at least 400,000 bpd in the year that began April 1, a seven-year high, industry sources said early last month.

In the first two months of this fiscal year, Indian refiners shipped in about 386,000 bpd of Iranian oil, a jump of 21.8 percent from a year ago, the data show.

In May, Essar Oil continued to be the biggest Indian importer of Iranian oil, taking about 190,000 bpd. Reliance Industries Ltd resumed imports from Iran after skipping them in April, taking about 100,000 bpd.

Reliance resumed imports from Iran in March after a gap of about six years.

Indian Oil Corp shipped in about 31,000 bpd of Iranian oil last month.

In the first five month of 2016, India’s Iranian oil imports have surged about 64.5 percent to 334,100 bpd, the data showed, in comparison with 203,100 bpd in the same period last year.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)


Source: R-Business

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Temasek, GIC buy $1 bln in Alibaba stock in SoftBank sale

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Singapore state funds bought $1 billion of shares in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd as part of an $8.9 billion sale by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, Alibaba’s biggest shareholder, the company said on Wednesday.

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, and state investor Temasek Holdings each purchased $500 million of Alibaba shares at $74.00 apiece through subsidiaries, Alibaba said, offering details of the SoftBank sale announced on Tuesday.

GIC and Temasek confirmed the transactions but declined to provide further comment. Temasek is an existing investor in Alibaba.

Alibaba purchased $2 billion of its own stock at the same price, in a move which would add to earnings, Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai told analysts on a call.

Members of the Alibaba Partnership of senior executives and founders purchased another $400 million, as expected, at the $74 per share price, he added.

SoftBank also offered $5.5 billion in debt securities, which can be exchanged for Alibaba stock in three years, Tsai said.

SoftBank Group said on Tuesday it would sell at least $7.9 billion of shares in Alibaba to cut the Japanese company’s debt. It said it would remain Alibaba’s largest shareholder after the sale.

Shares of Alibaba fell about 6.5 percent to close at $76.69.

(Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE; Editing by Richard Chang and Kenneth Maxwell)


Source: R-Business

Gold steady after overnight losses; Fed in focus

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BENGALURU Gold was steady on Thursday after overnight losses, with markets assessing whether the latest set of U.S. economic data boosted the prospects of an early interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,212.70 per ounce by 0048 GMT. It fell 0.2 percent on Wednesday to close at $1,212.40.

* U.S. gold GCcv1 was nearly flat at $1,215.20

* U.S. manufacturing grew for a third straight month in May, but factories appeared to be taking in fewer deliveries from their suppliers, which could hamper production in the months ahead.

* Other data on Wednesday showed automobile sales rising last month from April, extending the recent flow of relatively strong data that suggested economic growth was regaining speed in the second quarter.

* Inflation pressures grew slightly across most of the United States from April to mid-May, the Fed said on Wednesday in a report that also pointed to rising labour costs for American companies.

* Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to testify to the Senate Banking Committee on the U.S. central bank’s semi-annual monetary policy report on June 21, the panel said.

* The dollar dipped to 109.36 yen JPY= from a high of 110.830 overnight as a big drop in Tokyo stocks fuelled bids for the safe-haven currency.

* Asian shares were steady on Thursday as Wall Street eked out modest gains, while the resurgent yen pressured equity markets in Japan.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.24 percent to 870.74 tonnes on Wednesday, the highest since November 2013.

* As the Fed prepares the ground for another interest rate hike, most other central banks are moving in the opposite direction. And the divergence is widening.

* Ghana expects to produce 2.7 million ounces of gold in 2016, down only marginally from last year as new production offsets a decline in output due to lower global prices and ageing mines, the Chamber of Mines said.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0900 Euro zone producer prices Apr

1145 European Central Bank interest rate announcement

1215 U.S. ADP national employment May

1230 U.S. weekly jobless claims

1345 U.S. ISM-New York index May

(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)


Source: R-Business

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