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United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s on Monday held a conference call with the president’s Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes the country’s main stewards of the U.S. financial system and is something referred to as the “Plunge Protection Team” to discuss plunging U.S. stock markets. Regulators on the call were reportedly to have said they were not seeing anything out of the ordinary in the financial markets during the recent sell-off and also discussed how they will continue critical operations during the partial government shutdown. The Treasury said in a statement that Mnuchin also spoke with the CEOs of the nation’s six largest banks on Sunday, who had all confirmed to him that they have “ample liquidity available for lending.”  Mnuchin “also confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly,” the Treasury said. President Donald Trump blasted the Federal Reserves on Monday, describing it as the “only problem” for the U.S. economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the partial shutdown of the federal government was going to continue until his demand for funds to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is met. “I can’t tell you when the government is going to reopen.  I can tell you it’s not going to reopen until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it. I’ll call it whatever they want, but it’s all the same thing. It’s a barrier from people pouring into the country, from drugs,” Trump said. “If you don’t have that (the wall), then we’re just not opening,” he added.

Libya’s internationally recognised Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the country’s National Oil Corporation chairman Mustafa Sanalla agreed on Monday a new security plan to protect El Sharara oilfield, which is still closed. “The plan includes establishing green zones inside the site to prevent anyone from entering without a permit…and removing all unauthorised persons from the field,” it said in a statement. Sanalla was quoted in the statement as telling al-Sarraj that NOC is fully prepared to reopen the field if the Petroleum Facilities Guards are properly supervised.

China’s custom data showed on Monday that Saudi Arabia had overtook Russia as the country’s top crude oil supplier in November. In November, Saudi Arabia supplied 1.596 mil bpd of oil, up from a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. Russia was second with 1.593 mil bpd of crude, up 30 pct from a year earlier. China also resumed crude imports from the U.S. after a halt in October with imports of only 33,558 barrels, down 88 pct from  a year earlier.  Iranian supplies were 388,726  barres, falling 30 pct from the same period last year.

 

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