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Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday denied a report that the company is in talks with Saudi Arabia about setting up a manufacturing facility in the country.
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the electric vehicle maker is in early talks with Saudi Arabia about the possible plant, and that the kingdom has been wooing Tesla with the right to purchase certain quantities of metals and minerals the company needs for its electric vehicles from countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Musk said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the report is “utterly false.”
The kingdom has been trying to shift its economy away from oil, while its sovereign wealth fund is the majority investor in Lucid Group, one of the EV startups looking to challenge Tesla’s dominance of the industry.
Musk said in May that Tesla would likely select a new factory location by the end of 2023. The EV company currently has six factories in the U.S., China and Germany, and is building a seventh in Mexico in northern Nuevo Leon state.
Musk is in demand among world power players. On Sunday, he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, and in June he met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Tesla is targeting the sale of 20 million vehicles a year by 2030, up from around 1.3 million in 2022. Musk has said the company will likely need around 12 factories to reach production goals.
Reuters contributed to this report.
The price of oil continues to rise as Wall Street traders eye a potential supply deficit after Saudi Arabia and Russia extended supply cuts.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices have climbed for three straight weeks to reach their highest peak since November and are now targeting their biggest quarterly jumps since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the first quarter of 2022.
That year, oil prices shot above $100 for the first time since 2014 amid the conflict as demand recovered from COVID-19 lockdowns. Meanwhile, the global benchmark Brent Crude ended 2022 near $86 a barrel on fears of global recession.
Over the last quarter, WTI has jumped roughly 27% while Brent has risen almost 24%.
Oil producers like Hess, ExxonMobil and Warren Buffet’s Occidental Petroleum have mirrored the spike in crude prices, rising around 19%, 10% and 13%, respectively, over the same time.
“The price of oil impacts almost every ‘real good’ in the economy, with transport costs making up a major component of many of these company’s expenses,” Q.ai trend analyst Jason Mountford told FOX Business. “All talk has been about inflation coming down over the last year, but under the radar, oil has been steadily gaining since June.”
“Many companies who rely heavily on fuel, such as airlines and trucking companies, lock in oil prices for months in advance,” he said. “So, while you might not see an immediate impact to your hip pocket, it’s something to watch in the coming months.”
A move back above $100 for an extended time would boost revenues for members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), whose economies rely mostly on oil, while obstructing industrialized economies working to cool inflation and lower interest rates.
To support the market, the countries and allies, including Russia, agreed in October to cut production by 2 million barrels per day, about 2% of world demand.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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