Oil prices retreat, but set for fourth week of gains
 
, Posted on 13-Jan-2018


Oil prices retreat, but set for fourth week of gains

London : Oil prices fell yesterday after hitting a three-year high over $70 a barrel the previous day, but remained on track to post a fourth straight week of gains.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 traded 20 cents lower at $69.06 a barrel at 1129 GMT. The contract broke above $70 on Thursday for the first time since December 2014.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.34 a barrel, down 46 cents. WTI the day before rose to its strongest since late 2014 at $64.77.

“It is remarkable to see that most market analysts believe that prices have rallied too far since consensus forecasts are significantly lower than the current spot prices,” Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro, said in a note.

“On the other hand, most investors are still positioned to benefit from further price gains,” he said.

Analysts and traders have warned about the risk of a price correction since the start of 2018, but they say overall market conditions remain strong, mainly due to output cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia.

In addition to the OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) that are due to last until the end of 2018, oil prices have found support from eight consecutive weeks of U.S. crude inventory drops.

U.S. commercial crude stocks C-STK-T-EIA fell by almost 5 million barrels in the week to Jan. 5, to 419.5 million barrels. That was slightly below the five-year average of just over 420 million barrels, the target for OPEC and others cutting output.

Relatively weak Chinese December oil data weighed on prices, traders and analysts said. China’s crude imports in December fell 9 percent month-on-month to 33.7 million tonnes, or 7.97 million bpd, customs data showed.

“The end-of-year decline is highly counter-seasonal, being the first m-o-m decline in December in at least five years,” analysts at Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy wrote.

This has contributed to a fall in Singapore refinery profit margins DUB-SIN-REF to below $6 per barrel this month, their lowest seasonal level in five years, leading some refiners to scale down crude runs.

An expected rise in U.S. oil production C-OUT-T-EIA to above 10 million bpd from 9.5 million bpd now has also weighed.

A market survey of more than 1,000 energy professionals conducted by Reuters in January showed crude price expectations in a range of $60 to $70 per barrel for 2018.

Reuters


Related News

Saudi petchems fall in weak region
Apr 23

Saudi petchems fall in weak region

Dubai : Middle Eastern stock markets mostly fell yesterday, with Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares hit particularly hard, in response to a drop by global bourses at the end of last week. The Saudi index slipped 0.3 per cent as Saudi Basic Industries, the biggest petrochemical firm, slid 0.6pc and Sahara...

Read More
Bahrain Middle East Bank enters into partnership with ICIEC
Apr 23

Bahrain Middle East Bank enters into partnership with ICIEC

Tunisia : Bahrain Middle East Bank B.S.C. (BMB), announced its added gear in its product line, with agreements being entered into with The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a Member of the IDB Group (Islamic Development Bank Group, Jeddah, KSA), to consolidate its...

Read More
Abu Dhabi’s Warner Bros. indoor amusement park opens in July
Apr 19

Abu Dhabi’s Warner Bros. indoor amusement park opens in July

Abu Dhabi : Abu Dhabi will open a $1 billion indoor Warner Bros. amusement park this July, officials announced yesterday.  The Warner Bros. World park, built by the Abu Dhabi government-owned Miral Asset Management, encompasses 1.65 million square feet (153,290 square meters) on Yas Island, a leisure...

Read More
Saudi climbs for 5th straight day
Apr 19

Saudi climbs for 5th straight day

Dubai : Stock market Saudi Arabia climbed yesterday while the rest of the region was sluggish, with a slide in Dubai blue chip Emaar Properties dragging down that market once again. In Saudi Arabia, the index gained 0.6 per cent, rising for a fifth straight day. The market is bullish because of expectations for...

Read More
Saudi index holds above 8,000 points telcos boost Egypt
Apr 18

Saudi index holds above 8,000 points telcos boost Egypt

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia’s stock market continued a strong uptrend yesterday on the back of petrochemical and banking stocks, while rising telecoms shares boosted Egypt. The Saudi index closed 0.6 per cent up at 8,096 points, having finished above 8,000 points on Monday for the first time since August...

Read More
Saudi lifted by financials, other markets mixed
Apr 17

Saudi lifted by financials, other markets mixed

Dubai : Saudi stocks were lifted yesterday by optimism about fund flows and Qatari stocks rose on strong bank earnings, while other bourses in the region were lacklustre. The Saudi index closed 1.0 per cent higher, lifted by financial stocks. Insurance firm BUPA Arabia gained 5.5pc after it recommended an...

Read More
Russia, US trade barbs over attack
Apr 17

Russia, US trade barbs over attack

The Hague : Western countries accused Moscow on Monday of preventing inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground. The United States, Britain and France launched air strikes on Saturday against what...

Read More
Oil steady, on track for biggest weekly gain since July
Apr 14

Oil steady, on track for biggest weekly gain since July

London : Oil prices steadied yesterday, heading for their largest weekly gain since July after US President Donald Trump’s comments about possible military action in Syria and reports of dwindling global oil stocks. Recovering from earlier losses, Brent crude LCOc1 was up 28 cents at $72.30 a barrel by...

Read More
Aramco world’s most profitable oil firm: report
Apr 14

Aramco world’s most profitable oil firm: report

London : Saudi Aramco is the world’s most profitable oil company, Bloomberg reported yesterday. Bloomberg news agency cited company accounts as saying Aramco had net income of $33.8 billion in the first six months of 2017 and cash flows of $52.1 billion. Aramco said: “This is inaccurate, Saudi...

Read More
Dinosaurs fetch over 1.4m euros
Apr 13

Dinosaurs fetch over 1.4m euros

Paris : Two dinosaur skeletons marketed as hip design objects-- one of a diplodocus, the other of an allosaurus -- sold for more than 1.4 million euros ($1.7 million) apiece at auction in Paris on Wednesday. “The same foreign buyer acquired the two dinosaurs,” the Drouot auction house said, hailing...

Read More