Monday, 2 October 2017

Oil prices lower after strong third quarter as Sept. OPEC output rises-SapForex24

Oil prices fell on Monday, pausing for breath after posting gains of as much as 20 percent in the third quarter, after a survey pointed to a slight increase in OPEC production in September.

U.S. crude was down 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $51.53 a barrel at 0637 GMT. The U.S. benchmark on Friday posted its strongest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2016 and the longest streak of weekly gains since January.

Global benchmark Brent crude for December delivery was down 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $56.56 a barrel. On Friday, Brent for November delivery closed 13 cents higher at $57.54 a barrel, notching up a third-quarter gain of around 20 percent, the biggest gain in five quarters. It was the biggest third-quarter increase since 2004.

The contract reached its highest in more than two years early last week, and posted its fifth consecutive weekly gain. It was Brent's longest weekly bull run since June 2016.

The price gains have been supported by anticipated demand from U.S. refiners resuming operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey, but a quick resumption of shale production could put a dampener on prices.

"U.S. production should be soft over August and September, due to Hurricane-related shut-ins but should rebound" in the fourth quarter, Barclays (LON:BARC) Research said in a note.

Oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also rose last month, gaining by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd), a Reuters survey found.

Iraqi exports increased and production edged higher in Libya, one of the OPEC producers exempt from a deal to curb output and support prices.

Middle Eastern oil producers are concerned the recent price rise will only stir U.S. shale producers into more drilling and push prices lower again.

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for the first week in seven after a 14-month drilling recovery stalled in August, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to Sept. 29, bringing the total count up to 750.

Hedge funds and other money managers raised their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options in the week to Sept. 26, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reported on Friday.

Managed money net long positions rose by 43,496 contracts to 251,788 contracts, the most since the week of Aug. 22, the CFTC said.

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Oil prices slip as U.S. crude output rises to highest since 2015- SapForex24

Oil prices edged lower on Thursday, after U.S. government data revealed a weekly climb in domestic production to the highest level in over two years.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures shed 20 cents, or around 0.4%, to $51.94 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0735GMT), after rising 26 cents in the previous session to just below a five-month high.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., dipped 37 cents, or about 0.6%, to $57.20 a barrel, moving further away from a 26-month peak reached earlier this week.
Oil prices ended higher on Wednesday, as investors digested weekly supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Crude oil inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels, according to the EIA, after posting hefty increases in each of the last three weeks, as refiners raised output following Hurricane Harvey last month.
However, gasoline stockpiles were up 1.1 million barrels for the week, rising for the first time in four weeks.

The report also showed that domestic crude production edged up by 0.4% to 9.55 million last week, the highest level since July 2015.

Prices have been well-supported in recent weeks amid growing optimism that the crude market was well on its way towards rebalancing as data showed strong compliance from major producers with their supply cut agreement.

In May, OPEC and non-OPEC members led by Russia agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures were little changed at $1.602 a gallon, while heating oil slumped 1.5 cents, or 0.8%, to $1.824 a gallon.

Natural gas futures held steady at $3.059 per million British thermal units, as traders looked ahead to weekly storage data due later in the global day.

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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Forex - Dollar Hovers Near 3-Week Highs Vs. Rivals- SapForex24

The dollar was hovering near three-week highs against other major currencies on Tuesday, amid fresh geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and despite mixed messages by Federal Reserve officials.

The greenback strengthened after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley on Monday said the Fed is on track to gradually raise interest rates given factors depressing inflation are "fading" and the U.S. economy's fundamentals are sound.

“I expect inflation will rise and stabilize around the (Fed's) 2% objective over the medium term," he said before adding that "in response, the Federal Reserve will likely continue to remove monetary policy accommodation gradually."

However, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said shortly after that the U.S. central bank should wait until there are clear signs that income and prices are rising before raising interest rates again, warning that moving too fast would be a policy “misstep.”

Meanwhile, investors remained cautious after North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said on Monday that President Donald Trump had declared war on the country and that Pyongyang reserved the right to shoot down U.S. bombers, even if they are not in its air space.

The safe haven yen was steady, with USD/JPY at 111.71, while USD/CHF gained 0.34% to trade at 0.9698.

EUR/USD slid 0.25% to 1.1818 as market participants were also still digesting the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on Sunday but will have to build a coalition to form a government as Conservatives lost support in the face of a surge by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The single currency also remained under pressure after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Monday that that the bank's "ample" accommodation was still needed and added that currency volatility is a source of uncertainty that requires monitoring.

The pound edged higher, with GBP/USD up 0.13% at 1.3483.

Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.25% at 0.79179 and with NZD/USD retreating 0.71% to 0.7221.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged 0.09% higherto trade at 1.2380.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.18% at 92.62 by 05:20 a.m. ET (09:20 GMT), just off a three-week high of 92.67 hit overnight.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Forex - Aussie, Kiwi Move Higher Markets Focus on Fed Meeting-SapForex24

The Australian and New Zealand dollars moved higher against their U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, as market participants were looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, due to begin later in the day.

AUD/USD rose 0.24% to 0.7977.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged this week. However the U.S. central bank could give indications on when it plans to begin unwinding its balance sheet, as well as on any future interest rate decisions.

Investors were also eyeing U.S. data on building permits and housing starts due later Tuesday, for further indications on the health of the housing market.

Earlier in the day, the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's September meeting showed that policymakers remained favorable to low interest rates, saying that they allowed the economy to continue to strengthen.

The central bank also cautioned against the current strength of the Australian dollar, saying its “appreciation over recent months, driven in part by a broad depreciation of the U.S. dollar, was weighing on domestic growth” and that a further appreciation could “result in a slower pick-up in growth and inflation.”

NZD/USD advanced 0.44% to trade at 0.7290.

Meanwhile, concerns over tensions between the U.S. and North Korea remained subdued, although they were susceptible to pick up at any moment.

U.S. President Donald Trump was set to address the United Nations for the first time this week and Pyongyang was widely expected to be on the agenda.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.21%at 91.61 by 02:15 a.m. ET (06:15 GMT), just off a one-week low of 91.57 hit overnight.

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Monday, 18 September 2017

Forex - Aussie, Kiwi Move Higher Vs. Greenback in Late Trade-SapForex24

The Australian and New Zealand dollars moved higher on Monday, as Friday's downbeat U.S. economic reports continued to weigh on the greenback and as markets begn to focus on the Federal Reserve's policy meeting scheduled later in the week.

AUD/USD gained 0.30% to 0.8028.

The greenback came under pressure after data on Friday showed that U.S. industrial and manufacturing production unexpectedly fell in August.

In addition, the U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales unexpectedly fell by 0.2% in August.
Later this week, the Fed was expected to leave interest rates unchanged but it could give indications on when it plans to begin unwinding its balance sheet.

NZD/USD was up 0.36% at 0.7316.

Markets seemed to have recovered from news late Thursday that North Korea fired a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. It was the peninsula's second missile launch over Japanese territory in just over two weeks.

Pyongyang was expected to be discussed as U.S. President was preparing to address the United Nations for the first time this week.

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Commodities - Crude Oil Prices Ease But Hold on to Gains-SapForex24

Oil prices edged lower on Thursday, but held on the most of their gains from the previous session which came after data showing a record drop in gasoline inventories and indications that the oversupplied global market is starting to rebalance.

U.S. crude oil was trading at $49.27 a barrel after a 2.07% gain in the previous session.

Global benchmark Brent futures were at $55.09 a barrel after rising 1.49% in the previous session.
On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said global oil supplies fell for the first time in four months in August, while also revising its 2017 oil demand estimate up to 1.6 million barrels a day from its July estimate of 1.5 million.

The data came a day after the latest OPEC report that showed oil production from the cartel fell last month for the first time since March.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday that output declined by 79,000 barrels a day to 32.76 million in August, driven mainly by a drop in Libya, Gabon, Venezuela and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline stockpiles fell by 8.4 million barrels last week, the largest weekly drop on record in EIA data going back to 1990.

Distillate stockpiles fell by 3.2 million barrels, also above expectations.

Crude oil inventories rose by 5.88 million barrels last week, the EIA said.

The build came after Hurricane Harvey shut production in some Gulf of Mexico fields and refineries in Texas as some domestic producers also trimmed output to avoid a larger glut at storage.

The reports from the IEA and OPEC offset concerns over the EIA stockpile build, supporting prices.
Elsewhere, gasoline futures fell 0.59% to $1.6347 a gallon and natural gas futures added 0.23%, to $3.064 per million British thermal units.

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Monday, 11 September 2017

Forex - Dollar holds onto modest gains vs. rivals in quiet trade- SapForex24

The dollar held onto modest gains against other majors on Monday, as the greenback began to recover from sharp losses posted the previous week amid concerns over the impact of a second incoming hurricane and sustained tensions with North Korea.

Trading was expected to remain quiet with no major U.S. data to be released throughout the day.
The dollar regained some strength following an official downgrading of Hurricane Irma’s strength to Category 1, as the storm pummeled Florida over the weekend after devastating much of the Caribbean.

Massive storm surges have flooded areas across South Florida, while downed trees and power lines have left over 2 million residents without power.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he will ask Congress to speed up its efforts to overhaul the U.S. tax code, citing the potential impact of Hurricane Irma.

The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc were lower, with USD/JPY up 0.55% at 108.41 and with USD/CHF climbing 0.51% to trade at 0.9489.

Market participants had been worried about a potential North Korean missile test on Saturday, to mark the anniversary of the founding of the nation.

However,investors were relieved to learn that Pyongyang chose to observe the 69th anniversary of its founding only by honoring the scientists behind the massive nuclear test it conducted last week.
Elsewhere, EUR/USD slipped 0.11% to 1.2023, while GBP/USD held steady at 1.3191.

The euro fell below the $1.20 level after European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said that persistent exogenous shocks to the exchange rate could lead to unwarranted tightening of financial conditions with undesirable consequences for inflation.

The remarks came after ECB President Mario Draghi indicated last week that the bank may start tapering its massive stimulus program this autumn.

The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.8053, while NZD/USD rose 0.25% to 0.7281.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD slid 0.33% to 28-month low of 1.2120.

The Chinese yuan took a beating on Monday, as CNY/USD dropped 0.65% to 0.1533 after China’s central bank was reportedly planning to scrap reserve requirements for financial institutions settling foreign exchange forward yuan positions.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.13% at 91.43 by 05:20 a.m. ET (09:20 GMT), off Friday's 32-month low of 90.99.

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Crude oil prices slip, gasoline futures trade higher| SapForex24

Oil prices slid lower on Wednesday as ongoing disruptions from Tropical Storm Harvey kept refineries from buying crude, weighing on demand but prompting fears over fuel shortages.

U.S. crude oil was down 27 cents or 0.6% at $46.16 a barrel by 04:30 AM ET (08:30 GMT), not far from Monday’s one-month trough of $45.77.

Global benchmark Brent futures were at $51.35 as barrel, off 31 cents or 0.56%.

Some refiners in Corpus Christi that shut down ahead of the storm were looking to restart, but heavy rains were expected to last through Wednesday, adding to catastrophic flooding.

The National Weather Service said the storm has set a rainfall record for tropical cyclones in Texas.
But even refineries that are able to restart may experience difficulties getting enough oil supplies.

Ships carrying oil are still unable to enter Texas ports, while producers in south Texas who shut down operations are only starting to ramp up and some pipelines that carry supplies to refineries are still shut.

U.S. gasoline futures were higher, rising 0.62% to $1.6302.

Prices spiked to a two-year peak of $1.8180 on Monday after Motiva Enterprises said it was shutting down the nation's largest refinery due to flooding.

Oil and fuel prices have diverged since the storm began amid fears over fuel shortages.

Investors were beginning to turn their attention to the weekly oil inventory report from the U.S. government, with analysts expecting to see another decline in stockpiles.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.780 million barrels last week, indicating that the U.S. oil market is gradually tightening.

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Oil starts the week on back foot amid U.S. production jitters-SapForex24

Oil prices drifted lower on Monday, as concern over rising production in the U.S. dampened sentiment.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed last week that total domestic crude production edged up by 79,000 barrels a day to 9.5 million barrels, its highest level since July 2015.
That comes despite data showing that U.S. energy firms cut rigs drilling for new oil for a second week in three. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Aug. 18, bringing the total count down to 763, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said Friday.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September con||tract was at $48.52 a barrel by 3:25AM ET (0725GMT), down 14 cents, or around 0.3%.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 16 cents, or about 0.3%, to $52.58 a barrel.

Oil prices settled sharply higher on Friday, jumping about 3% in a surprise rally after reports surfaced that a unit at Exxon (NYSE:XOM) Mobil’s Baytown, Texas refinery shut down. The 584,000 barrel-a-day plant is the second-largest refinery in the U.S.Despite Friday's rally, New York-traded oil prices ended the week down 31 cents, or nearly 0.6%, its third such loss in a row. In contrast, London-traded Brent futures notched a weekly gain of 62 cents, or roughly 1.2%.

The global benchmark has been buoyed by recent signs that global supplies are tightening.
OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for September declined 1.7 cents, or nearly 1.1%, to $1.605 a gallon, while September heating oil slumped 0.9 cents, or 0.6%, to $1.610 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for September delivery tacked on 0.9 cents, or roughly 0.3%, to $2.902 per million British thermal units.

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Oil rises as inventory overhang erodes and Saudi cuts exports-SapForex24

Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers.

Crude is down nearly 7 percent so far this year, suppressed in large part by concern that OPEC and its partners may not be able to force global oil inventories to drop by cutting production.

However, Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would cut supplies to most buyers in Asia - the world's biggest oil-consuming region - by up to 10 percent in September.

Brent crude futures were up 29 cents at $52.99 a barrel by 0855 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 17 cents at $49.73.

In a sign that investors are turning more optimistic about the pace at which oil supply and demand are rebalancing, prices for crude for prompt delivery are trading above those for delivery further in the future.

"This is the march toward the flattening of the curve," said SEB chief commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop.

"The major event now going forward is the Middle East and Asian refineries rushing back into operation and consuming more crude, just as Saudi Arabia says it will cut September deliveries to Asia," he said.

The physical market is also showing signs of stronger near-term demand, after having suffered from a persistent overhang of unused crude.

Prices for prompt deliveries of North Sea crude oil are at their smallest discount to future prices in nearly two years and a surplus of oil stored on ships is gradually dissipating, having hit two-year highs.

Inventories in the United States are at their lowest since October, having fallen for 10 of the last 12 weeks.

Global stocks remain above their longer-term averages and with the summer driving season nearly at an end, investors are well aware that the attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers to boost prices may bring unwanted side-effects.

"The minute OPEC try to raise prices by cutting production, U.S. producers will react accordingly to fill the void. This results in a tug of war that we have witnessed all year and the final outcome is a range-bound market," said Matt Stanley, a commodities broker at Freight Investor Services in Dubai.

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