Weekly Outlook

Our rundown on the most interesting and market-impacting stories this week.

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Top Tech Experts Counter Crypto Lobbying

As cryptocurrency has created an increasing number of wealthy individuals, the crypto lobby has also grown, with crypto lobbyists tripling since 2018. Experts and academics from organisations including Microsoft, Google, and Harvard have jointly penned and signed a letter to US legislators rejecting claims made by crypto advocates in an act of “counter-lobbying”. Signatories of the letter also include both democratic and republican politicians and community leaders, all of whom have called for the US lawmakers to “resist pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and boosters to create a regulatory safe haven for these risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments”. Earlier this May saw the spectacular $40 billion crash of algorithmic stablecoin UST and its sister coin Luna in what investors call a “death spiral”.

Saudi Arabia Prepared to Step Up Oil Production

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, has signalled that it is ready to increase oil production should Russian output fall too much under the increasing number of sanctions. While the west has continuously called on the nation to increase its output ever since oil prices started surging when the Russia-Ukraine war began, Saudi Arabia has believed that it should keep its spare production capacity in reserve. However, the kingdom also sees that it is in its best interest to keep oil prices under control, and is prepared to respond should the market spiral out of control.

OPEC+ Signals Increase in Production

Global pressure seems to have finally got to OPEC and its associated countries as the alliance said OPEC+ would increase production by 50% in July and August, bringing it to 648,000 barrels per day. This will bring an end to the cuts that it made in 2020, when 10 million barrels of crude were taken off the market in response to lowered demand during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sanctions against Russia continues, and analysts say that the state’s output could slip over time. Despite the promised increase in production, oil prices remain steady with WTI near Thursday’s high on Friday; and Brent and WTI futures up 1%.

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