Commodity currencies hold firm on hopes of pandemic peak, oil output cut

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Commodity currencies drew support on Thursday from hopeful signs the coronavirus pandemic may be peaking and that major oil producers may agree to cut output to stem a plunge in oil prices.

FILE PHOTO: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, pound and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration/File Photo

The Australian dollar fetched $0.6225 AUD=D4, down slightly but still near its highest level since mid-March, maintaining most of its gains since rallying from a 17-year trough of $0.5510 touched three weeks ago.

The dollar’s index against

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Exxon used economic uncertainty to push for Paulsboro, N.J., contract: sources

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HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) used economic uncertainty tied to the coronavirus pandemic to urge workers at its lubricants and packaging plant in Paulsboro, New Jersey, to vote for a proposed contract, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: Logos of ExxonMobil are seen in its booth at Gastech, the world’s biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba, Japan April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Workers at the plant on Wednesday rejected the contract in a 62-11 vote, however, said the two sources.

The workers are represented by the Independent Oil Workers

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Mexican president lashes out at companies over layoffs, taxes as big business seethes

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president threw himself into a new confrontation with businesses on Wednesday, accusing big companies of not paying taxes and upbraiding others for laying off workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Relations between President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and corporate leaders have soured dramatically in recent weeks as discontent grows over his economic management and tendency to blame wealthy politicians and businessmen for Mexico’s problems.

On Tuesday, one of Lopez Obrador’s top business allies,

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Crude futures climb ahead of OPEC+ meeting

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Crude futures rose on Thursday on expectations the world’s largest oil producers would agree to cut production at a meeting later in the day as the industry grapples with the coronavirus-driven collapse in global oil demand.

FILE PHOTO: Oil pump jacks work at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., August 21, 2019. Picture taken August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Lutz/File Photo

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 2.5%, or 81 cents, to $33.65 as of 0034 GMT after touching a high of $33.90, adding to gains in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were up

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