The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree on a clear oil-output strategy Thursday as Iran insisted on steeply raising its production, though archrival Saudi Arabia promised not to flood the market and sought to mend fences within the organization.
Tensions between the Sunni-led kingdom and Shiite Iran had blighted several previous OPEC meetings, but the strains were less acute Thursday, as new Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih demonstrated a more conciliatory tone, and Iranian counterpart Bijan Zanganeh kept his criticism of Riyadh to a minimum.
Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies had tried to propose that OPEC set a new collective ceiling to repair the group’s waning importance. But Thursday’s meeting ended with no new policy or ceiling amid resistance from Iran.
Despite the setback, Saudi Arabia moved to soothe market fears that failure to reach any deal would prompt OPEC’s largest producer to raise output further to punish rivals and gain additional market share.
“We will . . . make sure we don’t shock the market in any way,” Falih said. “There is no reason to expect that Saudi Arabia is going to go on a flooding campaign.”
General Motors announced its largest recall of Takata air-bag inflators yet, but the nation’s biggest automaker said the parts are unique to its trucks and SUVs and do not pose a safety risk.
The government’s highway-safety agency disagrees. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said GM must proceed with two recalls adding up to 1.9 million trucks from the 2007 through 2011 model years.
The recalls were unveiled Thursday along with those from six other automakers totaling 4.4 million vehicles. They are part of the first round of a massive Takata recall expansion announced in May. A total of 17 automakers are adding 35 million to 40 million inflators to what already was the largest auto recall in U.S. history.
Takata inflators can malfunction and spew shrapnel into drivers and passengers when exposed to humidity and repeated hot-and-cold cycles.
GM said it would begin the recall process in cooperation with the NHTSA even though it said it does not believe inflators in its trucks are unsafe.
The company said no inflators in its trucks have ruptured during an estimated 44,000 crashes or in testing of returned inflators. It said the inflators were uniquely made for GM trucks and SUVs.
— Associated Press
● Walmart is testing drones that it says will help it manage its warehouse inventory more efficiently and could be rolled out within six to nine months across its distribution centers. The move is another sign of how the nation’s largest retailer is seeking to compete against online leader Amazon.com, which is testing drones to deliver packages. Walmart says using the drones enables it to check inventory in about a day or less, instead of the month that it takes manually.
● Authorities in the Netherlands raided several locations and seized cash and hundreds of thousands of fraudulent letters in an investigation into worldwide mail scams that U.S. law enforcement said defrauded “elderly and vulnerable” Americans out of tens of millions of dollars. The scams involved sending letters to people telling them they had won or could win lottery or other prizes and could get their winnings by sending a processing fee or by buying goods or services. Authorities made no arrests, but the investigation is ongoing. Prosecutors suspect the fraud masterminds live outside the Netherlands.
● New York’s attorney general can continue his legal effort to bar two former American International Group executives from the securities industry and forfeit any improperly gained profits, the state’s highest court ruled. The Court of Appeals for the second time refused to dismiss the lawsuit, originally filed in 2005 by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The suit claims ex-AIG chief executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and ex-chief financial officer Howard Smith had engaged in fraudulent reinsurance transactions to conceal a deteriorating financial condition.
— From news services
● 8:30: Employment data.
● 8:30: International trade data.
— From news services