Here are news stories, press reports and events to watch which may affect the auto industry, transportation and energy markets on Thursday.

Brent crude fell to its lowest in 18 months on Thursday at around $92 a barrel on demand growth concerns as China’s factory sector slowed and as the U.S. Fed’s stimulus plan dashed hopes for more aggressive steps to boost the world’s top economy.
An unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week also hit Brent, which has slid 28 percent from this year’s peak above $128 touched in March.

Oil hits 18-month low as stockpiles rise

Czech Republic:
LESS CRUDE FOR CZECHS FROM RUSSIA: Oil pipeline exporting monopoly Transneft expects Russian companies to continue holding back shipments of crude to the Czech Republic in the third quarter of 2012, its chief executive said.

Indicated 0.5 percent lower
The oil arm of Germany’s power giant RWE said on Wednesday it would postpone a start up of its large oil fields in Libya, still awaiting an agreement with local authorities on the structure of the venture.

India could export up to 3 million tonnes of wheat to Iran if supplies are requested, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said on Wednesday, as India seeks to reduce huge wheat stocks and help settle payment for a large oil import bill.

* BP : Mikhail Fridman, the Russian billionaire, has been meeting institutional investors in London to canvas support for his plan to buy half of BP’s stake in TNK-BP, the Financial Times reported.

Norway’s Statoil aims to triple its North American oil and natural gas production by the end of the decade as it increases spending in oil-rich prospects and targets global capital spending of $17 billion this year.
It expects to produce 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boepd) in North America by 2020, up from the 149,000 boepd produced in the first quarter of this year.

Italy’s Supreme Court has ordered two close advisers of Italy’s powerful Agnelli dynasty to stand a new trial for charges of market manipulation relating to a deal that allowed the family to keep control of the top domestic carmaker Fiat.

The supervisory board of the French carmaker said it supported Chief Executive Philippe Varin and the group’s strategy after a newspaper reported that top shareholder the Peugeot family wanted Varin to go.


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