- Bank of Japan Did Not Change Interest Rate
- U.S. Unemployment Claims Rise Despite Expectation Of Decline
- Fitch Raises Oil Price Forecast
Bank of Japan Did Not Change Interest Rate
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) did not change the interest rate.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) stated that they decided to keep the short-term policy interest rate at -0.1%. Besides the bank decided to keep rates for 10-year bonds yields around 0%. The market expectation was that interest rates would not change.
BOJ’s noted that the country’s economy is in a complex process but has started to recover.
“Japan’s economy has picked up as a trend, although it has remained in a difficult situation due to the impact of Covid-19 at home and abroad,” the BOJ said in the statement.
In addition, the bank has extended the date of the Covid-19 Assistance Program by extra six months. Eight votes passed the resolution to 1. One member opposed the extension of the aid program.
The Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) board said the Covid-19 support is crucial “given that such financing is likely to remain under stress,” an official statement said.
Further, the BOJ said it would launch a new program in 2021 to fund investments, or loans, to companies to fight climate change. An outline of the new measure will be provided at the next policy meeting in July.
U.S. Unemployment Claims Rise Despite Expectation Of Decline
Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week despite an ongoing recovery in the U.S. employment market, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The weekly unemployment claims data showed that the number of first-time unemployment claims applicants rose by 37 thousand from the previous week, from 375,000 to 412,000.
Despite the expectation of a decrease, the increasing data was estimated to decrease to 359 thousand people in the said period.
Last week, 4-week average unemployment benefits applications decreased by 8 thousand people compared to the previous week and fell to 395 thousand people.
On the other hand, ongoing unemployment claims increased by a thousand people to 3 million 518 thousand people in the week ending June 4; from 3 million 517 thousand people announced in the previous week. The expectation was that the ongoing unemployment claims would decline to 3 million 430 thousand people.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell noted the difficulties in getting workers back to filling the record 9.3 million available jobs.
“Factors related to the pandemic, such as caregiving needs, ongoing fears of the virus, and unemployment insurance payments appear to be weighing on employment growth,” Powell said Wednesday at a news conference following this week’s central bank meeting. “These factors should wane in coming months against a backdrop of rising vaccinations leading to more rapid gains in employment.”
Fitch Raises Oil Price Forecast
Fitch’s rating agency has increased its 2021 and 2022 oil price assumptions for the Brent crude due to more substantial year-to-date prices, a deficit in the market caused by a recovery in demand, and constrained supply from OPEC+ countries and heightened U.S. capital discipline.
Fitch predicts that the most widely used London Brent crude oil will be around $63 this year and $55 next year. In its previous report, Fitch had forecast Brent crude to be $58 this year and $53 next year.
WTI-type crude oil is expected to average $60 this year and $52 next year. Fitch previously announced that the figure would be $55 this year and $50 next year.
Fitch Ratings reported that the upward trend in oil demand would continue in the second half of the year if the vaccine studies for the Covid-19 outbreak are successful and the restrictions are eased further.
In addition, the firm added that the production increases adopted by OPEC+ countries in April and implemented in June would help meet the increasing demand but will be insufficient to balance the market in the second half of the year.
OPEC+ has a spare capacity of about seven million barrels per day (BPD), which should be sufficient to cover increasing demand in the short term.
However, there is some uncertainty over how quickly production could ramp up relative to the pace of the recovery in demand, which may lead to price volatility.