Oil recovers to $70 amid supply risks after fourth weekly loss | Fin24
  • Load Shedding

    Schedules for Cape Town, Jhb, Durban, East London and Polokwane, plus links to more.

  • Power Cuts

    Everything you need to know about Pravin Gordhan's Eskom briefing, and what happens next.

  • Fin24’s newsletter

    Sign up to receive Fin24's top news in your inbox every morning.


Oil recovers to $70 amid supply risks after fourth weekly loss

Jul 30 2018 14:54
Grant Smith, Bloomberg

Oil rose above $70 a barrel in New York for the first time in more than a week as a weaker dollar boosted the appeal of commodities and concerns over global supply disruptions persisted.

West Texas Intermediate futures added as much as 2.2% following a retreat of 2.5% last week. Three oil fields in the North Sea wound down output early on Monday as industrial action began, a labour union said.

Tensions in the Middle East remain high as the US reimposes sanctions on Iran, while Saudi Arabia halted shipments via a key Red Sea shipping lane last week after two tankers were attacked by Yemen’s Houthi militia.

Oil has declined almost 5.5% this month on concerns that a trade war between the US and China will hurt the global economic growth that underpins energy demand. Yet the losses have been capped as President Donald Trump seeks to curtail oil exports from Iran after quitting an agreement that oversees the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Barclays warned of “ significant upside risk” for prices in the fourth quarter as Trump’s policy takes effect.

“Geopolitical risk rose last week from left and right of the Arab Peninsula,” with the attack on Saudi tankers and growing tensions between the US and Iran, said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates in London. “An escalation of either of the conflicts would have a devastating impact on global oil supply.”

WTI crude for September delivery rose as much as $1.48 to $70.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded at $70 as of 1:08 pm London time. The contract fell 2.5% to $68.69 last week. Total volume traded on Monday was 18% below the 100-day average.

Brent for September settlement traded at $74.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, up 22 cents, and was at a $4.80 premium to WTI. The global benchmark crude climbed 1.7% last week to $74.29.

The dollar slipped 0.3% against the euro to $1.1686, boosting the appeal of assets such as commodities priced in the US currency.

Demand for crude will stay strong amid “surprisingly resilient” profit margins for refiners, according to consultants JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna. Crack spreads for turning crude into gasoline hit the highest in more than a month in New York, and the highest in 11 months in Europe.

Other oil-market news:

• While OPEC and its allies could discuss an oil-supply increase higher than the 1 million barrels a day agreed at the June meeting, there are currently no talks on that, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in Johannesburg.

• Oil bulls are venturing back into the market as global conflict sparks concern that supply disruptions will leave buyers scrambling for barrels. A 12-hour stoppage at Total SA’s Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin oil and gas fields is set to go ahead on Monday, Unite union regional officer Wullie Wallace said in an email.

• US federal regulators said their proposal to roll back US mileage targets would increase the nation’s fuel consumption by 500 000 barrels a day. US working oil rigs rose by three to 861 last week, according to Baker Hughes data.

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

commodities  |  markets  |  oil


Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Do you think government can solve the Eskom crisis?

Previous results · Suggest a vote