-- Brent crude oil is down 0.6% at $76.23 a barrel.

-- European benchmark gas is up 3.3% at EUR 41.31 a megawatt hour.

-- Gold futures are up 1.6% at $1,981.50 a troy ounce.

-- LME three-month copper futures are down 0.8% at $8,855.50 a metric ton.

-- Wheat futures are 1% higher at $6.70 a bushel.



Big Oil Eyes New Deals in North Africa Amid Rising Energy Demand

After years of underinvestment in North Africa's energy infrastructure, global oil-and-gas giants from Halliburton Co. and Chevron Corp. to Eni SpA are ramping up their presence in the region as demand from Europe grows.

Executives in the industry are betting it is worth drilling again in some of the hardest places to do business in the world as Europe increasingly turns to other sources for its energy needs after shunning its main supplier, Russia, over the invasion of Ukraine. In recent months, a string of European officials have visited the region to help advance talks over potential supply deals.

Halliburton and Honeywell International Inc. are hammering out $1.4 billion worth of deals to develop an oil field and refinery with National Oil Corporation in Libya, which has the largest known oil reserves in Africa, according to the chairman of state-owned firm, Farhat Bengdara. Italy's Eni is planning investments aimed at replacing nearly half of the gas it was importing from Russia with gas from Algeria.



Electric-Vehicle Growth Expands GM Cyber Chief's Concerns to Charging Stations

Electric vehicles are taking General Motors Co. 's cyber chief into new territory.

Kevin Tierney, the auto maker's chief cybersecurity officer, often finds himself monitoring risks across information-technology systems, autonomous vehicles and manufacturing plants. Now, he's adding power-grid security to his day-to-day work.

His added brief is mostly due to the sweeping shift away from gas-powered cars. California, among several states, has mandated zero-emission vehicles by 2035, and GM is significantly upgrading its EV production capacity, including with a $650 million investment in Lithium Americas Corp. as part of a plan to develop a mine in Nevada and secure access to a mineral key to the batteries used in EVs. The company plans to release several new electric models this year, and aims to install thousands of charging stations across the U.S. by 2025.


What Does 'Made in America' Mean? In Green Energy, Billions Hinge on the Answer

Virginia-based power company AES Corp. says it is ready to push the button on a solar-panel order of more than $1 billion if a manufacturer will commit to building a factory in the U.S.

If that factory gets built, AES can buy its panels and apply for federal subsidies recently made available to clean-energy developers that use equipment made in the U.S.

There is one problem: The government hasn't decided what "made in the U.S." means, and how strictly to define it.

"You can't sign on the dotted line until this is clarified," said Andrés Gluski, AES's chief executive. The company and two other developers have said they would collectively buy as much as $6 billion in panels from a manufacturer that sets up in the U.S.



Weaker Dollar Should Be a Tailwind for Commodities

1044 GMT - The U.S. dollar has been falling on the back of reduced rate-hike expectations, and this is likely to act as a tailwind for commodity prices, according to ANZ Research. In recent years the relationship between commodities and currencies has been upended by the pandemic and subsequent inflationary pressures, ANZ says in a note. However, with supply-side issues now easing, this relationship could remerge, with a weaker dollar signaling higher commodity prices, the economic research firm says. "Energy shortages in Europe have eased... so, the commodity price-dollar relationship should re-emerge in 2023," it said. ANZ added that with the Fed nearing the end of its rate hiking cycle, the dollar should continue to weaken, with the greenback down 1.2% this week. (


Oil Pares Gains Following Fed Boost

0838 GMT - Crude oil prices are moving lower, having pushed higher after the Federal Reserve's move to push interest rates up by 25 basis points yesterday. Brent crude is down 0.3% to $76.49 a barrel while WTI is down 0.4% to $70.64 a barrel. Both remain up for the week - Brent 4.9%, and WTI 5.80%, respectively. Despite the early losses, analysts say demand for oil remains strong and is likely to strengthen further. "The Energy Information Association's weekly report highlighted strong exports, while domestic fuel stockpiles declined," ANZ Research says in a note. It adds that Asian demand also remains firm, while the prospect of no more rate hikes this year also providing impetus for oil.


Base Metals Mixed, Gold Rises on Fed Interest-Rate Hike

0825 GMT - Base metal prices are mixed in early trade in London while gold is rising after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25 basis points Wednesday. Three-month copper is up 0.1% to $8,938.50 a metric ton while nickel is down 1.4% to $22,450 a ton. Gold meanwhile is 1.5% higher at $1,979.10 a troy ounce. "This was a 'dovish hike', i.e., higher rates but with lower projections," Peak Trading Research says in a note. The dollar fell following the rate rise, with indications from Fed chair Jerome Powell that fewer or possibly no more rate hikes are set to happen for the rest of this year, a bullish trend for commodity markets, Peak says. (


Africa, Europe Poised to be Green Hydrogen Leaders

1638 GMT - Africa and Europe are poised to be leaders in renewable hydrogen production thanks to Africa's mineral reserves and renewable potential combined with Europe's production and import targets, Rystad Energy says. Still, Rystad says a barrier to building out Africa is investment, with only 13 megawatts of the planned 114 GW having reached a final investment decision. "Africa's unparalleled mineral reserves are critical for electrolyzer production and the region's fantastic renewable potential combined with Europe's prodigious production and import targets will not just alter energy flows, they will create them anew," Rystad's Rajeev Pandey says. (; @dieterholger)


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 23, 2023 07:52 ET (11:52 GMT)

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