Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Gold Gains Traction on Weak US Economic Data

Gold bullion displayed in a store in the German city of Pforzheim (dpa)
Gold bullion displayed in a store in the German city of Pforzheim (dpa)
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Gold Gains Traction on Weak US Economic Data

Gold bullion displayed in a store in the German city of Pforzheim (dpa)
Gold bullion displayed in a store in the German city of Pforzheim (dpa)

Gold prices edged up on Wednesday after data suggesting lacklustre US economic activity kept alive hopes for at least one interest rate cut this year.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $2,330.27 per ounce as of 1156 GMT. Prices rose about 0.4% in the previous session.

US retail sales barely rose in May and figures for the prior month were revised considerably lower, data showed on Tuesday, suggesting economic activity remained lacklustre in the second quarter, Reuters reported.

That slightly boosted the odds of a Federal Reserve rate cut in September to 67% from 61% a day earlier, the CME FedWatch tool showed.

The main drive for gold's price action remains the market expectations over the Fed's monetary policy and despite prices creeping up, the move is quite subdued as the market waits for more substantial news, said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

"Market expectations point to at least one rate cut from the Fed. That scenario has been fully priced in the value of the dollar. Government purchases (of gold) remain stable as well. So, unless there is any significant change in this scenario, prices are expected to remain supported above the $2,300 level," Evangelista said.

Gold prices rose about 1.3% last Friday on signs of inflation cooling in the United States amid a selloff across European equities as French stocks were battered by political turmoil.

Political uncertainty surrounding Europe can be a positive, with elections in France and the UK nearing, Kinesis Money market analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said.

The more immediate focus, however, is on the US weekly jobless claims data on Thursday and flash purchasing managers' indexes on Friday.

Spot silver was up 0.1% at $29.54 per ounce, platinum rose 1.1% to $983.45 and palladium gained 1.9% to $904.00.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
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Saudi Energy and Economy Ministries Launch Carbon Capture, Utilization Challenge with UpLink

The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt
The Saudi flag. Aswat Asharq Al-Awsatt

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) and Ministry of Energy (MoEnergy), in collaboration with UpLink, have launched the Carbon Capture and Utilization Challenge which seeks innovative solutions that accelerate the circular carbon economy.

The challenge was launched during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in a main session titled ‘SDG 13 and Interlinkages with Other SDGs – Climate Action’ held on July 10.

The challenge encourages startups to submit distinct solutions that drive carbon reductions through sustainable systems transformation, including carbon capture technologies, novel carbon utilization applications, and industrial integration.

The initiative emphasizes the importance of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), highlighting the crucial role innovation plays in driving a sustainable and economically prosperous future and the important role of carbon removal in reaching net-zero goals by mid-century.

“The climate change issue and sustainability is a global issue,” Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. “It cannot be attended to in regional scopes or as a smaller territorial thing. It has to be global.”

He stated that the Kingdom seeks to enhance its efforts to achieve its ambitious goal of reaching net zero by 2060 through the Circular Carbon Economy Framework, which not only reduces the impact of carbon emissions, but also values carbon as a resource with real economic value, rather than pollutant.

He also indicated that the Kingdom, in line with this vision, and in order to exploit the economic value of carbon worldwide, has launched, in partnership with leading organizations, a global carbon capture and utilization challenge.

The Minister stressed that Saudi Arabia, by adopting such challenge, is leading influential changes in efforts to confront climate change, as this challenge represents an opportunity for individuals and organizations to transform tomorrow’s challenges into today’s solutions, through joint efforts and pioneering innovations.

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim said: “The Kingdom is keen on a just, orderly, and pragmatic energy transition and is working towards the advancement of the circular carbon economy framework.”

“Through this challenge, related to innovation inside the circular carbon economy, we look forward to seeing new solutions that would help push innovation forward,” he said.

He encouraged all innovators and companies to come up with “out-of-the-box solutions.”

Submissions will be evaluated on factors such as scalability, commercial viability, technological readiness, and fundraising success.

Winners will be recognized as top innovators and form part of the UpLink Innovation Ecosystem, a curated program for founders, CEOs, executive directors, and other leaders. They will also share a cash award of up to CHF 300,000 and receive technical, business, and operational support to scale their ideas.