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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

Our roundup this week brings you news of a rise for crude oil futures following a pledge from Saudi Arabia towards oil price stability, a new survey indicating the majority of Britons are in favour of leaving the EU following the Paris attacks, research concluding that more young people than old are living in poverty in the UK and calls for hundreds of thousands of women to receive pension compensation.


Saudi Arabia pledge leads to oil futures rise

A climb of more than 1% in crude oil futures on Tuesday came after a pledge from Saudi Arabia to work towards oil price stability. Speaking at the Seminar on Future Energy in the Middle East and North Africa in Bahrain, Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, the Saudi Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said the country would cooperate with all other oil-producing nations in a bid to bring greater stability to the oil market.

Mr Al-Naimi said: "Perhaps it would be fitting here to mention the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the stability of the oil market, and its continued willingness and prompt, assiduous efforts to cooperate with all oil producing and exporting countries, both from within and outside OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), in order to maintain market and price stability."

The comments came just days before OPEC holds a meeting to review its policy of not supporting prices, which has been followed for the past year, and are being viewed as an indication that the policy of holding oil output at a time of decreasing demand might be amended. 

Poll suggests majority of Britons want to leave the EU

A new survey has suggested that more than half of Britons wish to leave the European Union (EU). The opinion poll, carried out by ORB for the Independent newspaper after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, included 2,000 people and showed that 52% now want to leave the union.

The result represents a marked difference to similar research conducted in June, July and September, which found the majority of respondents wanted to remain in the 28-member bloc.

Prime Minister David Cameron has previously stated that a referendum on whether Britain should stay in the EU will be held before the end of 2017.

'More young than old' living in poverty

New research carried out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that there are more young than old people in the UK living in poverty. The findings showed that 1.7 million individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 are currently deemed to be in poverty, compared to 1.4 million over the age of 65.

The figures come from the foundation's annual state-of-the-nation report, which also revealed there are now 400,000 more young people living in poverty than there were ten years ago, while people in this age group are also four times more likely to be unemployed than the general population.

Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, explained that youngsters are currently facing significant barriers with regard to accessing well-paid jobs and affordable housing. 

Women 'should receive pension compensation'

Compensation should be paid to hundreds of thousands of women who have endured delays in receiving their state pension, it has been claimed. Labour peer Baroness Bakewell said women born after April 6th 1951, who have seen their retirement age climb gradually over time, should have been given proper warning that they would not be able to access their state pension when they turn 60.

Despite the government stating that all women have been contacted about the matter, thousands have complained that they were not given appropriate notice.

Baroness Bakewell commented: "They expected that their pension would start at a certain age - 60 - and then the law was changed quite suddenly."