-- Brent crude oil is 1.4% lower at $84.61 a barrel.

-- European benchmark gas falls 4.5% to EUR 43 a megawatt hour.

-- Gold futures are up 0.2% at $1,858.40 a troy ounce.

-- Three Month copper is 0.7% lower at $8,862 a metric ton.

-- Wheat futures are 0.9% lower at $7.03 a bushel.



China Sets Conservative Growth Target as Challenges Loom

China unveiled its lowest growth target in more than a quarter-century as Beijing faces challenges in the domestic and global economy following its emergence from three years of strict Covid-19 measures.

China's target of around 5% growth this year in gross domestic product, announced on Sunday by Premier Li Keqiang at the start of the country's annual legislative session, suggests that officials are less concerned about raw economic expansion as they turn their attention to other priorities.

At this week's legislative meetings, leader Xi Jinping is expected to further consolidate his grip over the realms of security, finance and technology, reshuffling key posts to further dilute the government's role in policy-making at the expense of the Communist Party, The Wall Street Journal has reported.



EVs Boost Chip Demand Despite Semiconductor Makers' Woes

Chip sales that have declined across many customer segments are still enjoying one area of rising demand: cars.

Growing sales of electric vehicles--which tend to use more semiconductors than their gas-powered counterparts--coupled with greater automation in all vehicles, have kept producers of chips for cars busy. The long-term outlook for the market appears robust, Tesla Inc. suggested this past week, as Chief Executive Elon Musk detailed plans for his car company to scale up to 20 million vehicles a year by 2030, from around 1.3 million in 2022.

"We're consuming about 700,000 12-inch wafer equivalents," Tesla's supply-chain vice president Karn Budhiraj said Wednesday, referring to the material individual chips are made of. "We're going to need 8 million wafers," he added, once the company reaches its 20-million-car production target. Tesla also indicated it was working on ways to use fewer chips per vehicle and didn't anticipate chip-making capacity as an impediment, given how that industry was expanding.


Energy Industry Wrestles Over Going Green Too Fast

While the race to develop cleaner energy intensified over the past year, an uneasy consensus emerged on a parallel track: At least in the short term, the world needs more oil and gas, too.

The dueling-and sometimes conflicting-imperatives are expected to be core topics in Houston starting Monday when oil executives, climate hawks and government officials gather at the industry's premier annual energy summit.

For an industry accustomed to extreme cycles of boom and bust, the current environment is less binary and more complex than usual. Even as the biggest companies post record profits, huge questions linger.


A New York Town Once Thrived on Fossil Fuel. Now, Wind Energy Is Giving a Lift.

This former oil town almost 300 miles from the coast is emerging as one of the early winners in the push to develop offshore wind in the Atlantic Ocean.

The hulking steel components of wind turbines slated to rise out of the ocean east of Long Island are being welded at the Ljungström factory, which for 100 years has sold parts to coal-fired power plants. Plant managers here said their pivot to wind has meant hiring 150 more people and could reopen a facility that has been dormant for several years.

The renewed economic activity has brought new jobs and perspective to some here in Wellsville, a town of 7,000 people about 80 miles south of Rochester that blossomed in the 20th century serving the fossil-fuel economy. As the nation strives to meet a goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions--including enough offshore wind to power 10 million homes by 2030--the U.S. could see more places with historical ties to traditional energy markets try their hand in renewables.



Metals Mixed as Markets Look to Powell Comments, Payrolls Data

0824 GMT - Metals markets are mixed with investors awaiting macro data signals to help gauge Federal Reserve policy. Three-month copper is up 0.2% to $8,940 a metric ton while aluminum is down 0.5% to $2,383 a metric ton. Gold, meanwhile, is 0.4% higher at $1,862 a troy ounce. "Investors are spooked by the hawkish Fed's 'higher for longer' interest rate projections," says Dave Whitcomb, head of research at Peak Trading Research. Bond markets are pricing in a 33% chance of a 50-basis-point hike from the Fed at its next meeting, he says in a note. "That's good for the dollar, bad for commodities," Whitcomb says, adding that the next key dollar events will be [Fed Chair Jerome] Powell's comments Tuesday and nonfarm payroll data Friday. (


Oil Slips as China Sets Modest Growth Target

0827 GMT - Oil falls after China set its lowest growth target in more than a quarter-century and investors awaited comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell later this week. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, is down 0.4% at $85.52 a barrel while WTI declined 0.3% to $79.43 a barrel. China said Sunday it was aiming for 5% GDP growth this year, a modest target compared to previous years, suggesting officials are cautious about the nation's emergence from Covid-19 lockdowns. Separately, Powell is set to speak to U.S. lawmakers Tuesday and Wednesday. The focus will be on any indication the Fed chief makes about interest rates and inflation. (


Copper Falls on Concerns Over China Demand

0338 GMT - Copper prices are lower in the morning Asian session, on concerns over China demand, driven by the country unveiling a growth target of 5% for 2023, its lowest in more than a quarter-century. While this target isn't a surprise, it could feel disappointing to market participants, Citi Research analysts say in a research report. The growth target, toward the lower end of expectations, implies that policy makers aren't willing to overstimulate the economy, the analysts add. The three-month LME copper contract is down 0.6% at $8,929.00 a ton. (


Write to Yusuf Khan at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 06, 2023 06:01 ET (11:01 GMT)

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