Commodities

Oil slips as concerns over economic data offset trade deal optimism

Reuters SINGAPORE | Updated on November 04, 2019 Published on November 04, 2019

Oil prices eased on Monday as traders took profit ahead of fresh European and US economic data, despite hopes for some resolution to the US-China trade row that has hurt global economic growth and crimped energy demand.

Prices jumped about $2 a barrel on Friday after the world's top two economies said they had made progress on trade talks while US officials said the deal could be signed this month.

Brent crude futures for January fell 16 cents to $61.53 a barrel by 0727 GMT, while December US crude futures was at $56.04 a barrel, down 16 cents.

“Friday's mega-rally was built on a combination of not-as-bad-as-feared data and optimism on a trade deal that really, only keeps the lights on. It does not increase the brightness of the world economy,” Jeffrey Halley, a Singapore-based senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA, wrote in a note.

“With plenty of oil going around for everyone from everywhere, oil, in particular, will be more susceptible to headline bombs this week.”

The European Union and the US are set to announce manufacturing data on Monday, with more US and Chinese data to come later in the week.

“I think the trade talk continues to improve sentiment, but ... Asian oil traders want more convincing data from the macros side” before supporting oil, Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said.

Still, a fall in the US rig count for a second week in a row and an upbeat US jobs report supported oil prices last week. Independent producers cut spending after record production weighed on the outlook for energy prices.

Also underpinning US crude prices was a shutdown of the Keystone pipeline that sends Canadian heavy crude to the US. Owner TC Energy Corp said on Friday work was underway to plug the pipeline in North Dakota.

Production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers - a group known as OPEC+ - since January to reduce oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day are also propping up prices.

Still, Russia again missed its output cut target in October, energy ministry data showed on Saturday.

OPEC's output recovered in October from an eight-year low after a rapid rebound in Saudi Arabia's production from attacks on its oil infrastructure in September offset losses in Ecuador and voluntary cuts under the pact.

Protests at Iraq's main Gulf port Umm Qasr on Saturday blocked the country's food imports, but did not affect the second-largest OPEC producer's oil exports, which take place mostly from nearby offshore platforms.

Saudi Aramco finally kick-started its initial public offering on Sunday, but offered scant details on the number of shares to be sold, pricing or the date for a launch.

 

 

Published on November 04, 2019

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