15 June 2020

Crude Records First Weekly Decline in Seven Weeks

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News shaping
the markets today

     

What’s happening: WTI crude prices extended their losses on Friday to record the first weekly decline in several weeks.

What happened: Both benchmarks slipped slightly on the last trading day of the week but printed losses of more than 8% for the week. This was the first weekly decline after the bullish run since April.

Oil prices came under pressure due to rising oversupply concerns, despite the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and its allies agreeing to cut crude production. The recent spike in US coronavirus cases fuelled fears of a second wave of the pandemic disrupting economies and demand for oil. The US announcing a surprise increase in its crude inventories didn’t help either.

Why it matters: Various states in the US have been witnessing a rise in new infections following their reopening efforts, stoking fears that the pandemic is still far from over and the economy will need to reopen more gradually than was earlier hoped.

Meanwhile, the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath, said that the global economy is rebounding at a slower-than-expected pace.

The rise in crude oil inventories in the US also exerted pressure on oil prices, with the stockpiles climbing to a record 538.1 million barrels last week following low-priced imports from Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the number of active oil drilling rigs in the US were reduced by 7 to 199 last week, Baker Hughes reported.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude for July delivery slipped 0.2% to settle at $36.26 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) on Friday, after recording its biggest single-day decline since April 27 in the previous trading session, falling 8.2%.

Brent for August delivery rose 0.5% to settle at $38.73 per barrel, after dropping 7.6% on Thursday.

The US benchmark recorded a weekly decline of 8.3%, while Brent fell 8.4% for the week.

In other commodity news, July natural gas declined 4.5% to $1.731 per million British thermal units on Friday, recording a loss of 2.9% for the week.

What to watch: Crude oil is likely to remain under pressure today with the continued rise in new covid-19 cases adding to concerns over the global economy. WTI crude oil traded down 3.5% in the Asian session. Investors continue to be optimistic about oil prices, although the rise is now expected to be at a much slower pace than the climb after April’s sell-off.

The Markets Today

     

European stocks will be in focus today, after the region’s markets closed sharply lower last week.

Context: European stocks closed higher on Friday, after recording their worst session since March on Thursday on worries over the Federal Reserve’s dismal outlook and the rising number of covid-19 cases in the US. The Eurozone markets closed significantly lower last week.

Details: Around a dozen states in the US have reported a surge in new coronavirus cases. There are concerns now that the global economy may be unable to recover as quickly as expected, despite trillions of dollars in stimulus packages announced by governments across the globe. Investor sentiment has been hit by coronavirus cases rising every time reopening efforts are made and fears of a second wave of infections.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3% on Friday, after gaining as much as 1% earlier in the session. The index had tumbled 4% in the previous trading session to record its sharpest single-day decline since March 23. The index posted a weekly loss of 5.7%.

The German DAX 30 index posted a weekly decline of 7%. The FTSE 100 gained 0.5% on Friday but was down 5.9% for the week, after the UK announced a 20.4% contraction in its GDP in April.

Games Workshop Group’s shares gained over 8% on Friday, after the UK firm indicated a better-than-projected recovery since the reopening of the economy. Shares of Pearson climbed more than 11% after investment firm Cevian Capital bought a stake in the education firm.

What to watch: Traders await the balance of trade report from the Eurozone. Analysts expect the Eurozone to record a trade surplus of €15.9 billion in April, versus a surplus of €28.2 billion in March.

Markets will also be monitoring the covid-19 numbers, with the total cases exceeding 7,899,540 globally, with 433,010 deaths.

Other Markets: US indices trading closed higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones index, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 up by 1.9%, 1.3% and 1%, respectively.

Support & Resistances
for Today

     

market snapshot

     

Futures at 0400 (GMT)

What else to watch today

     

India’s wholesale price index and balance of trade, Italy’s inflation rate, Saudi Arabia’s inflation rate, Canada’s manufacturing sales, China’s foreign direct investment, South Africa's SACCI business confidence index as well as the US New York Empire State manufacturing index.

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