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Bloodbath in oil market; crude tumbles 30%

The current crude oil prices are just marginally higher than the decadal low of $26 a barrel in early 2016 with analysts fearing that it may touch that level soon.

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New Delhi, March 9 : The bloodbath in the oil market has continued into the new week with crude oil prices slumping to around 30 per cent on Monday to just about $30 a barrel after Saudi Arabia shocked the market by launching a price war against one time ally Russia.

Late last week, talks between oil cartel Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OEPC) and Russia collapsed as the two sides failed to agree on an output cut deal. This pushed Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, to cut its crude prices and announce increase production leading to a mayhem in an already over supplied oil market.

Crude is trading down 22 per cent to $32 a barrel. Brent crude, the global benchmark, has also plunged 22 per cent to $35 a barrel. Both oil contracts are on track for their worst day since 1991 Gulf War.

US oil prices crashed as much as 27 per cent to a four-year low of $30 a barrel.

The fear in the market now is that oil prices may crash further as Saudi Arabia is taking aggressive stance and is expected to flood the market with crude in a bid to recapture market share. Analysts have said that Saudi Arabia had slashed its April official selling prices by $6 to $8 a barrel in a bid to retake market share and heap pressure on Russia.

The global developments on oil bore well for India that imports 83 per cent of its domestic oil requirements. Analysts said that the country could save over $30-40 billion in its oil import bill if the current prices hold on for longer during 2020. This fiscals oil imports bill is also expected to fall from the gains on prices in the last two months of the financial year.

In a tweet on Sunday Kotak Mahindra Bank managing director and CEO Uday Kotak said: “Amidst turbulence and the virus, some good news – oil at $45/barrel. Recent $20 drop saves India $30 billion per annum. Also global interest rates have collapsed making money cheap. Let’s leverage these for policy to boost growth.”

The current crude oil prices are just marginally higher than the decadal low of $26 a barrel in early 2016 with analysts fearing that it may touch that level soon.

The failure of OPEC-Russia deal on production cuts has the genesis on growing prowess of the United States in oil export market. Russia has been dropping hints that the real target is the US shale oil producers as any production cuts by them helps US producers extra space in the market. OPEC led by Saudi Arabia wants production cuts to be expanded in an oversupplied market to prevent further erosion in oil prices that is also facing huge demand squeeze aggravated by the spread of Coronavirus.

The failure of talks has also resulted in a crash of Stock markets across the Gulf. Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the Tadawul, was down 7.7 per cent in afternoon trading on Sunday. The Abu Dhabi index fell 5.8 per cent, Dubai’s Financial Market General Index was down 7.47 per cent.

Shares of Saudi state oil giant Aramco traded below their original IPO price for the first time on Sunday, at 30.90 riyals ($8.24) in Riyadh compared to the listing price of 32 riyals in December. That’s down 6.36 per cent on the day.

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Lava launches budget smartphone for Rs 7,777

The smartphone sports a dual rear camera setup of 13MP + 5MP with LED flash and a13MP selfie camera with screen flash.

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Lava Z66 Mobile

New Delhi, Aug 4 : Domestic mobile manufacturer Lava on Tuesday launched a new smartphone Z66 as the latest addition in its Z series for Rs 7,777.

Lava Z66 features a 6.08-inch HD+ notch display with a 2.5D curved screen and 19:9 aspect ratio. The device is powered with a 1.6 GHz octa-core processor with 3GB RAM and a storage capacity of 32GB (expandable up to 128GB).

The smartphone is currently available at offline stores and will soon be available on Amazon and Flipkart in three colour variants – marine blue, berry red and midnight blue, the company said in a statement.

“This beautiful device not only lets you click the most stunning pictures but also delivers a power-packed all-round performance,” Tejinder Singh, Head- Product, Lava International said in a statement.

The smartphone sports a dual rear camera setup of 13MP + 5MP with LED flash and a13MP selfie camera with screen flash.

The camera also comes with features like beauty mode, night mode, HDR mode, burst mode, panorama, time lapse and slow motion, along with filters.

The device houses a 3950mAh battery and runs stock Android OS (Android 10).

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New Google Chrome extension brings more ad transparency

Named Ads Transparency Spotlight, the early version of the extension is available on the official Chrome Web Store, ZDNet reported on Sunday.

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Google-wefornews

San Francisco, Aug 3 : As part of its efforts to give people more visibility into the data used to personalise ads, Google has launched a new Chrome extension that lists all companies and services with a presence on the page including content delivery networks or analytics providers.

The extension includes the criteria used to show ads, the ad tech companies helping to display these ads, and the ad platform companies serving these ads on a web page.

Named Ads Transparency Spotlight, the early version of the extension is available on the official Chrome Web Store, ZDNet reported on Sunday.

At the time of release, it only shows information about those ads purchased through Google Ads that have implemented the Ad Disclosure Schema, a uniform system for advertisers to disclose how their ads work.

As others implement this schema, these ads will also appear in the extension.

“Over time, we hope the industry will incorporate the Ad Disclosure Schema into their ads,” Google said.

Google said it released the extension to provide a tool for transparency into the criteria being used to show ads.

“Our ultimate goal is to support a more transparent ad ecosystem globally,” the company added.

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TikTok parent to shift HQ from Beijing to London: Report

Earlier reports suggested that the talks were halted after the US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the country over security concerns.

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Tik Tok

London, Aug 3 : Chinese unicorn ByteDance which owns the popular short video-sharing app TikTok has received approval from the British government to move its headquarters from Beijing to London, The Sun newspaper reported.

A formal announcement from ByteDance’s founders on setting up shop in London is expected soon, said the report on Sunday. While there is no official word on the deal yet, the newspaper said that the deal could see ByteDance’s founder Zhang Yiming and TikTok’s creator Alex Zhu relocating to London.

Last month, The Sunday Times reported that after months of negotiations with the UK’s Department for International Trade and government officials, ByteDance halted the talks about opening a global headquarters in London due to the “wider geopolitical context”.

That report that cited a source came barely a week after the UK government announced a ban on the purchase of new Huawei kits for 5G from next year and said that the Chinese telecom giant’s equipment will be completely removed from 5G networks by the end of 2027.

However, The Sun newspaper report said that the ministers in the British government have found it “absurd” to say no to a big company wanting to come to Britain.

The news comes amid Microsoft’s discussions with ByteDance to purchase TikTok’s operations in the US.

Earlier reports suggested that the talks were halted after the US President Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the country over security concerns.

TikTok has faced allegations that it could share user data with the Chinese government. The company has denied such allegations.

Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and the US President, Microsoft said it was prepared to continue talks to explore purchase of TikTok in the US.

Microsoft hopes to complete the discussion by September 15.

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