by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) Sept 20, 2012
Nexen shareholders on Thursday overwhelmingly approved Chinese state-owned energy giant CNOOC's $15.1 billion takeover bid for the Canadian oil and gas company.
A new public opinion poll, however, shows Canadians strongly opposed to the deal, which has yet to be approved by regulators.
The proposed takeover would be China's largest foreign investment and its largest energy deal, according to data firm Dealogic.
"The arrangement was approved by approximately 99 percent of the votes cast by Nexen common shareholders and approximately 87 percent of the votes cast by Nexen preferred shareholders at the special meeting held on September 20, 2012," said a Nexen statement.
An Abacus Data poll conducted for the Sun newspaper group, however, found 69 percent of Canadians oppose the takeover. Only eight percent said they want to see Ottawa greenlight the deal.
"The gut reaction of the public is just simply 'no'," pollster David Coletto told Sun News.
About 15 percent of respondents cited China's poor human rights record in rejecting the deal, while others oppose it "on strategic grounds, that this is not a resource we should be giving up to foreign companies -- any foreign company," Coletto said.
The Abacus Data survey with a 2.9 percent margin of error was conducted online with 1,208 participants between September 14 and 18.
Oil prices mixed amid China demand worries, better US data
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November gained 76 cents to $108.95 a barrel in late London deals, a day after Brent futures closed down almost four dollars on talk that Saudi Arabia was boosting crude supplies.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for October dipped 13 cents to $91.85 a barrel after shedding more than three dollars on Wednesday.
Official data published Thursday showed new claims for US unemployment insurance benefits fell slightly last week to stand at 382,000. The United States is the world's biggest consumer of oil.
Crude prices had meanwhile fallen by about a dollar in London and New York earlier in the day after data showed manufacturing activity in the world's largest energy consumer China contracting for the 11th straight month.
Analysts said recent price support won from the US Federal Reserve's decision last week to embark on a third round of exceptional stimulus measures, or quantitative easing (QE3), had tailed off.
"The extended losses are hinting more and more that the bullish impact of QE3 had already been priced into the market for several weeks (ahead of the announcement) and that the focus is now on weaker global economic growth indicators," JBC Energy research group said in a note to clients.
Crude demand worries were stoked after British banking giant HSBC released data showing China's manufacturing sector still stuck in a rut, said Justin Harper, a strategist at IG Markets Singapore trading group.
"The China data has pushed down commodities after HSBC's flash PMI showed contraction for another month," he told AFP.
"Oil has been on the receiving end of this negativity towards the Chinese economy and more evidence of its continued slowdown. China is a major consumer of oil and any slowdown in its economy worries traders about future demand."
The preliminary reading of the purchasing mangers' index (PMI) for China released by HSBC hit 47.8 this month, a mild improvement from a final reading of 47.6 in August, the bank said in a statement.
But the latest reading marked nearly a year of continuous contraction since November, underscoring broader economic weakness and shrinking demand in key overseas markets.
The index is closely watched as it gauges nationwide manufacturing activity, a key sector of the world's second-largest economy. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while anything below 50 points to contraction.
China's official PMI figure for August released earlier this month hit a nine-month low of 49.2.
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Japan calls for reform of LNG markets
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 19, 2012
Resource-hungry Japan called Wednesday for a revamp of the world's LNG market, as it ramps up its hunt for new sources of energy for a country badly scarred by the Fukushima disaster. Industry minister Yukio Edano said Liquefied Natural Gas was set to be a huge growth sector over the coming years, and the regionally stratified market for it produced huge price disparities. He said Japan' ... read more
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