This Week’s Market Buzz

  • Oil is hovering at about $50 per barrel, down slightly on concern about the economic outlook following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. OPEC’s oil output has risen in June to its highest in recent history. Nigeria’s oil industry has partially recovered from militant attacks and Iran and Gulf members are now boosting supplies. Returning Nigerian supply will put pressure on prices, Goldman Sachs said, adding that outages caused by Canadian wildfires would virtually end by September. Brent crude was down $1 a barrel, or 2 percent, at $49.61.

  • Stock prices for some of Wisconsin’s largest frac sand mining companies started to recover this month after dropping more than 90 percent in the last year and a half. In the summer of 2014 oil prices were around $100 per barrel, thousands of oil and gas wells were being drilled, and demand for Wisconsin’s frac sand was insatiable. Then the bottom fell out of the domestic oil market and shares of sand producers like Hi-Crush Proppants and Emerge Energies dropped by as much as 98 percent. After languishing at around $5 or $6 per share for most of this year, stock prices for those and similar companies have crept back into the double digit range. IHS oilfield services analyst Samir Nangia said sand investors are excited because 3,000 wells are ready to be hydraulically fractured in the U.S. and companies are using much more sand per well.
  • PPG Industries has honored Unimin as one of its key suppliers. Unimin Corp. has long provided non-metallic industrial minerals for PPG’s glass manufacturing operations, helping control costs through both pricing and inventory-reduction efforts.

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