Shell chief executive to step down
Ben van Beurden is to stand down as Shell chief executive at the end of this year, ending a career with the oil giant that began in 1983.
Chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie said: “Ben can look back with great pride on an extraordinary 39-year Shell career, culminating in nine years as an exceptional CEO.
“During the last decade, he has been in the vanguard for the transition of Shell to a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 and has become a leading industry voice on some of the most important issues affecting society.”
The new boss is Wael Sawan, who has been with Shell for 25 years and is currently the director of Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions. Sir Andrew added: ““Wael Sawan is an exceptional leader, with all the qualities needed to drive Shell safely and profitably through its next phase of transition and growth.”
FTSE 100 steadies after big sell-off
Markets have steadied after Tuesday’s big sell-off, when a bigger-than-expected US inflation figure of 8.3% undid Wall Street hopes for a slower pace of interest rate rises.
The S&P 500 closed 0.4% higher last night on the back of the worst session in over two years, but the negative sentiment remained in Europe as the FTSE 100 index fell sharply for a second day in a row with a decline of 1.5%.
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 33 points higher at 7310, but with the risk that strong US retail sales figures could reinforce the hawkish narrative ahead of next week’s interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve.
Traders are still pricing in a third consecutive 0.75% hike, but there now appears to be less chance of the 1% increase feared by many on Wall Street on Tuesday.
In the UK, meanwhile, the chances of an unprecedented 0.75% increase by the Bank of England have increased following yesterday’s figures showing continued core inflation pressures. On the back of this speculation, the pound held firm at $1.15 today.