Crude oil prices heading for 7th weekly loss

Reuters Singapore | Updated on January 24, 2018


Oil prices were heading for a seventh weekly loss on Friday, with key producers showing no signs of cutting output in the face of a global supply glut.

Brent and US crude futures both hit their lowest since 2009 this week and are down more than 50 per cent from June, although they inched up on Friday after robust US economic data brightened the outlook for demand.

Brent crude had climbed 21 cents to $51.17 a barrel by 0203 GMT. US crude for February delivery was at $49.13, up 34 cents.

Supply concerns

But supply concerns remained as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf OPEC allies are showing no sign of considering cutting the output to boost oil prices even as demand slowed globally.

China's consumer inflation

Meanwhile, annual consumer inflation in China remained near the lowest in five years, signalling persistent weakness in the world’s largest energy consumer.

“Without any changes to fundamentals, selling appears largely to be jittery investors looking for supply-demand equilibrium,’’ ANZ analysts said in a note.

Traders were wary of calling a floor price at $50 in the overwhelmingly bearish oil markets.

“We’ve seen oil hovering at around $60, but it fell way below,’’ an Asian oil trader said.

Supply is piling up with some of the world’s largest oil traders hiring supertankers this week to store crude at sea.

Price forecast

BNP Paribas has cut price forecasts for Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude by more than $10 per barrel.

It expects Brent to average at $60 per barrel this year, down $17 from its previous forecast in November. The 2015 WTI average has been revised down to $55 from $70.

“Supply issues will dominate demand in terms of fundamental factors, with the market focusing on how the current supply surplus will ultimately resolve itself,’’ BNP said.

Published on January 09, 2015

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