Oil up on strong economic data, U.S.-China tensions cap gain.
Oil prices rose on Friday, lifted by some supportive economic data, but tensions between the United States and China limited gains.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 3 cents to settle at $43.34 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 22 cents to settle at $41.29 a barrel.
For the week, Brent rose 0.5%, while U.S. crude rose 1.7%.
Ahead of the weekend, market participants had their eye on Tropical Storm Hanna, forecast to cross to Baffin Bay, 46 miles (74 km) south of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Saturday afternoon or evening.
So far, energy companies said there have been no evacuations of workers or shutdowns of production from offshore platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Lifting market sentiment, Euro zone business activity grew in July for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to IHS Markit’s flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). The index is seen as a good indicator of the bloc’s economic health.
“The economic data in Europe was much better than anticipated, which would suggest that demand destruction in recent months because of COVID-19 may not have been as bad as people thought,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures group in Chicago.
Meanwhile, U.S. business activity increased to a six-month high in July. U.S. companies, however, reported a drop in new orders as new COVID-19 cases spiked.
The resurgent pandemic has darkened the U.S. economic outlook. Some states have reinstated restrictions, which should reduce fuel consumption.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits hit 1.416 million last week, unexpectedly rising for the first time in nearly four months.
Oil prices could see a near-term correction if a recovery in fuel demand slows further, especially in the United States, Barclays Commodities Research said.
Still, the bank lowered its oil market surplus forecast for 2020 to an average of 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from 3.5 million bpd previously.
The U.S. oil and gas rig count, a indicator of future output, fell by two to an all-time low of 251 in the week to July 24, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. However, energy firms added one oil rig in the first weekly increase since March.
Today Monday Oil slips as rising virus cases, U.S.-China tensions weigh on markets.
Oil prices edged lower on Monday as rising coronavirus cases and tensions between the United States and China pushed investors toward safe-haven assets.
Brent crude LCOc1 dipped 14 cents, or 0.3%, to $43.20 a barrel by 0242 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 dropped to $41.19 a barrel, down 10 cents, or 0.2%.
The fall in oil mirrored moves in broader financial markets in Asia amid concerns about escalating tensions between the world’s two biggest economies following the closures of consulates in Houston and Chengdu. Global coronavirus cases, meanwhile, exceeded 16 million.
Still, Brent is on track for a fourth straight monthly gain in July and WTI is set to rise for a third month as unprecedented supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Countries and its allies including Russia propped up prices. Output has also fallen in the United States.
Oil demand has improved somewhat from the deep trough of the second quarter, supporting prices, although the recovery path is uneven as resumption of lockdowns in the United States and other parts of the world is capping consumption.
Oil Future close 24rd July, 2020
Brent crude: $ 43.34 (+0.03) /brl FM delivery Sep
Light crude (WTI): $ 41.29 (+0.22) /brl FM delivery Sep
Gasoil ARA; $ 374.75 (-3.00) /mton FM delivery Aug
NY Harbor Ulsd: $ 386.76 (+0.67) /mton FM delivery Aug
Oil Futures trading at GMT 07.56; Brent: -$0.01, WTI: +$0.01.
Market is at a standstill, waiting for direction. It looks like the oil market could head
downwards mainly due to the coronavirus situation in the U.S. which is worsening.
The tense political situation between China and the U.S. is negative for the oil market.
Remember, always start to predict today’s bunker price in accordance to Oil Future differentials at closing the day before. – Don’t create bunker prices from current Oil Futures, which are too new and live and changing values every split second. Use the current live Oil Future prices only as a guidance for what we can expect forward.