Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Oil prices seesaw as USA trade dispute with China rattles market

Oil steadies after Friday’s falls but trade disputes still weigh Oil prices seesaw as USA trade dispute with China rattles market
Kelvin Reese | 11 April, 2018, 12:39

Market players now looked ahead to fresh data on US commercial crude inventories to gauge the strength of demand in the world's largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.

Brent, the global benchmark, gained $1.35, or 2%, to $70.00 a barrel.

Oil prices fell about 2 percent on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China, reigniting fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies that could hurt global growth. "The odds of a coordinated response to the chemical-weapon attack in Syria (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-issues-warning-after-dozens-killed-in-apparent-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria-2018-04-08) is making short selling more unsafe".

"Investors may start pricing in a much higher risk premium", said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for the May contract edged higher by 1.2 percent to $64.22 per barrel, while worldwide benchmark Brent futures for June delivery climbed by 1.2 percent to $69.53 per barrel.

The oil price has risen by 4.5 per cent in the last two trading days to reach its highest since March 29 and is only 1.2 per cent below the 2018 peak at US$71.05 from late January.

Donald Trump claims China will 'take down' trade barriers
China expresses "strong dissatisfaction" over the decision, adding that it "aggravates the global trade environment". Trump's actions will not help generate any goodwill for American companies trying to do business in China, he added.

Commonwealth Games 2018: Mack Horton rides on golden emotion
Miley was 0.03secs ahead heading into the final leg but Wilmott finished strongly for the gold medal. Cate Campbell (24.24 seconds) was quickest, followed by Jack (24.50) and Bronte Campbell (24.87).

Why China is confident it can beat Trump in a trade war
A second point to be considered is the large export capacity of the United States , which Brazil will not be able to replace. The public has until May 11 to submit comments on the proposed list of USA tariffs, with a hearing scheduled for May 15.

Meanwhile, news that Saudi Arabia is aiming for an $80 oil price offered further support, according to Flynn.

The Saudis want oil prices near $80 to help support the valuation of Saudi Aramco ahead of its IPO, Bloomberg reports.

Looking at USA crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (April 4) showed falling crude oil stocks and falling refined product inventories. While it may be tough to finger one specific catalyst, the weaker dollar, followed by geopolitical unrest over Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Syria, N Korea, and of course China, are likely culminating in somewhat of a flawless storm, helping to lift oil prices. It also forecast average retail gasoline prices of $2.74 a gallon for the summer driving season, up from $2.41 for the summer of 2017.

U.S. WTI crude futures CLc1 were at $65.40 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last settlement.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report yesterday.

Previous US sanctions has already hit Iran's production by more than 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). "However, oil market fundamentals are tightening and oil prices looks set to be squeezed higher as long as OPEC+ sticks to its cuts".

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