Friday, January 29, 2016
In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.
Let’s take a look.
1. Currencies, foreign exchange under pressure
- This WSJ graphic highlights the growing currency problem stemming from the collapse in oil prices.
- Azerbaijan, which depends on oil prices for over 90 percent of export revenue, had to abandon its currency peg twice last year because of falling oil prices. Azerbaijan blew through 64 percent of its foreign exchange in 2015 to defend its currency peg. The state is now tapping its sovereign wealth fund as it scrambles for resources.
- Other oil producers are also in the firing line. Saudi Arabia’s riyal and Nigeria’s naira could be forced off their pegs.
- China is a much bigger worry. The surprise devaluation last year rattled financial markets. It is still burning through foreign exchange to defend its current exchange rate, but global markets are concerned that a further depreciation might be coming down the pike.
- The capital outflows reflect the souring investment climate for emerging markets. A record $732 billion in capital fled emerging market economies in 2015, a worrying sign for a world searching for a growth engine.
2. Trade volumes slowing