Pressured over missing writer, Saudi Arabia lashes out

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Oil prices firmed Monday morning as questions surrounding the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had traders pricing in the possibility sanctions would be imposed against Saudi Arabia.

Stocks have dropped as much as 9% since Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

In a joint statement, Jeremy Hunt, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas said: "There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and - if relevant - to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Khashoggi and ensure that they are held to account".

Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative, which has been nicknamed "Davos in the Desert", is due to start on Oct 23 and bills itself as "a blueprint for the 22nd century".

In response to the US' threatened measures, Saudi Arabia is retorting with threatening measures of their own, highlighting a list of 30 potential counter-moves if the USA strikes out against them.

Shares in Son's Japanese tech company SoftBank plunged more than 7% in Tokyo on Monday as worldwide pressure intensified on Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Still, regional traders said speculation the Khashoggi case might deter some inflows of foreign investment - and that a backlash in the US Congress could lead to US sanctions against some Saudi individuals - had triggered panic selling of stocks by some local investors.

In an interview to be aired Sunday, Trump told CBS' "60 Minutes" that "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment".

Brent crude turns lower as weaker demand view weighs
Michael crashed ashore Florida on Wednesday as the third most powerful hurricane to strike the USA mainland. The monthly report by the International Energy Agency ( IEA ) on Friday weighed on crude markets.

After committing $45 billion to the Vision Fund, Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman also pledged to invest billions in SoftBank's next venture capital fund.

Oil has become a political weapon once again following revelations of human rights violations by Saudi Arabia, prompting a global outcry against the Saudi regime, including threatening Tweets from US President Donald Trump, prompting lashback from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government, it said, would shield the prince by blaming an intelligence official for the bungled operation.

It's unclear, however, whether Saudi Arabia would be willing to unilaterally cut production.

Mohammed bin Salman has carefully nurtured a public image of himself as a, distancing himself from Saudi leaders of the past.

There's now some doubt about whether US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will attend the Riyadh conference.

"I don't think that we should continue with business as usual until we know exactly what happened here, because what we do know is this: He walked into that consulate and he never came out", Sen.

"It's being investigated, it's being looked at very, very strongly", Trump said. Saudi officials assert - without providing proof - that he left the embassy, but Turkish officials believe he may have been murdered. Executivesincluding JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon have pulled out of an investment conference taking place in the kingdom later this month.

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