World Bulletin / News Desk
A fire burned for a third day in two fuel storage tanks at Venezuela's biggest refinery on Monday, putting in doubt plans to restart the facility quickly after one of the world's most deadly oil industry accidents.
Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told state TV the blaze remained contained to the storage tanks. He has insisted that the Amuay refinery can be restarted within two days, once the flames have been extinguished.
A gas leak caused an explosion and then a fire before dawn on Saturday at the 645,000 barrel-per-day facility, part of the world's second biggest refinery complex - obliterating homes nearby, killing at least 41 people and wounding dozens more.
State oil company PDVSA said that none of Amuay's production units was affected, and that Venezuela has enough stocks to meet its commitments to the domestic market and keep up exports.
President Hugo Chavez promised a full investigation into the tragedy during an emotional visit to the scene on Sunday.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.