Monday, 20 January, 2020


Crude oil futures down 0.75%, all eyes on US-China trade deal

Iran's missile attack on US army bases in Iraq on Wednesday sent gold blasting above US$1,600 an ounce. But it took just hours for that safe haven dash to fade and for global stocks to rise again Oil falls below $65 in first weekly drop since November
Conrad Doyle | 14 January, 2020, 17:07

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.1 percent at $58.13 a barrel, snapping a five-session losing streak.

Analysts said the fall in crude oil futures was mostly due to trimming of positions by traders amid weak spot demand.

"It's hard for crude oil to go higher if refiners continue to lose money or at best break even on gasoline", said Tom Kloza, global head of Energy Analysis at Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).

The U.S. continues to target countries and companies which continue to do business with Iran and continue to import oil from Iran, Mnuchin reiterated, noting that everyone-Chinese or European-would face secondary sanctions if they buy oil from Iran. Distillate stockpiles rose by 5.3 million barrels, versus forecasts for a build of 3.9 million barrels. In the Asian session, US crude slipped below the 58.00 level, before recovering.

Futures in NY fell as much as 1.5pc Monday to the lowest level in over a month.

The recent declines followed investors unwinding bullish positions built following the killing of a senior Iranian general in a USA air strike in Iraq on January 2 which sent oil prices to a four-month high, said Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London.

Global benchmark Brent touched a near four-month high above Dollars 70 before ending last week below USD 65, although the situation in the Middle East remains tense.

The U.S. -Chinese trade war had a tangible impact on global oil demand growth a year ago, which reached 890,000 barrels per day compared with initial forecasts of 1.5 million bpd, Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM brokerage said in a note.

Meanwhile, the markets appear to have turned risk-averse ahead of the much-awaited US-China phase one trade deal signing scheduled on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has invited at least 200 people to a ceremony for the signing, but the two nations have not yet finalized details of what will be signed, White House officials said on Friday.

"We suspect that agreement is already largely discounted in the price level, and is unlikely to provide a strong boost to oil prices", global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London Harry Tchilinguirian told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.

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