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Oil Dips With U.S.-China Tensions Compounding Demand Woes
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Oil Stable as Signs of Easing Virus Offset U.S.-China Tensions
(Bloomberg) -- Oil was little changed in Asia as signs of an easing in coronavirus cases across the U.S. south were countered by ongoing diplomatic tensions between the Trump administration and China.Futures in New York slipped 0.3%, after rising 0.5% on Friday. Reported cases and fatalities fell in many states hit hard by the virus, including Florida, Arizona, California and Texas. The daily death toll also dipped under 1,000 for the first time in four days.U.S.-China diplomatic tensions continued to simmer over the weekend. Beijing slammed the “forced entry” to its Houston consulate by U.S. personnel and vowed to respond “as necessary.” China on Friday ordered the U.S. to close its Chengdu consulate in retaliation after Washington shut down China’s equivalent branch in Houston.U.S. crude futures gained 1.7% last week, but their recovery from negative territory in April has largely stalled and they have traded in a tight range this month amid signs the pandemic is flaring up again around the world. Schlumberger Ltd. warned Friday that new waves of Covid-19 could derail the nascent recovery in global energy demand.Yet, crude markets have gathered steady support from the weaker dollar, which is headed for its worst month since the start of 2018 as investors line up to short the greenback.Read: Oil Trading Profits Soar for Energy Majors Who Made Storage BetsOil explorers expanded drilling in U.S. fields for the first time in four months last week, halting a record streak of rig retirements triggered by a Saudi-Russian price war and the virus-driven demand collapse. Energy companies deployed 1 additional rig nationwide this week, bringing the tally of active machinery to 181, according to Baker Hughes Co. data released Friday.Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to consider purchasing protection against slumps in crude prices, motivated in part by the desire to gain flexibility in talks with OPEC+ allies, according to people with knowledge of the matter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Oil Steady With U.S.-China Tension Offset by Signs Virus Easing
(Bloomberg) -- Oil was steady after a weekly gain as investors weighed worsening relations between Washington and Beijing and the prospect of more supply against a weakening dollar and signs the virus is easing in the U.S.Futures in New York traded near $41 a barrel after rising 1.7% last week. U.S.-China tensions simmered over the weekend, with Beijing slamming the “forced entry” to its Houston consulate by American personnel and vowing to respond “as necessary.” The breakdown in relations between the world’s two largest economies threatens to complicate the recovery from the coronavirus.There was some evidence, however, that the surge in the pandemic over the past few weeks in the U.S. could be starting to ease. Reported cases and fatalities fell in many of the hardest-hit states including Florida, California and Texas and the death toll dipped under 1,000 for the first time in four days.Crude has been trading in a tight range near $40 a barrel since early June after its rapid recovery from lows in April petered out as many countries struggled to bring the virus under control. A drop in the dollar has also supported prices this month, although investors are bracing for fresh supply from the OPEC+ alliance when it relaxes its output curbs from August.The Next Move in Oil Prices May Be Down, Not Up: Julian LeeWest Texas Intermediate for September delivery declined 0.1% to $41.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:35 a.m. in Singapore after closing up 0.5% on Friday. Brent for September settlement fell 0.2% to $43.25 following an 0.5% advance last week.There is also evidence North American crude production may be starting to recover. U.S. output rose for the first time since March in the week through July 17 after correcting for the impact of Tropical Storm Cristobal, which tore through the Gulf of Mexico in June, while Baker Hughes Co. data released Friday showed the first expansion in drilling in American fields in four months.Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has ordered his government to consider purchasing protection against slumps in crude prices, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The move is motivated in part by the desire to gain flexibility in talks with OPEC+ allies, the people said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Oil Dips With U.S.-China Tension Offset by Signs Virus Easing
(Bloomberg) -- Oil edged lower after a weekly gain as investors weighed worsening relations between Washington and Beijing and the prospect of more supply against a weakening dollar and signs the virus is easing in the U.S.Futures in New York fell toward $41 a barrel after rising 1.7% last week. U.S.-China tensions simmered over the weekend, with Beijing slamming the “forced entry” to its Houston consulate by American personnel and vowing to respond “as necessary.” The breakdown in relations between the world’s two largest economies threatens to complicate the recovery from the coronavirus.There was some evidence, however, that the surge in the pandemic over the past few weeks in the U.S. could be starting to ease. Reported cases and fatalities fell in many of the hardest-hit states including Florida, California and Texas and the death toll dipped under 1,000 for the first time in four days.Crude has been trading in a tight range near $40 a barrel since early June after its rapid recovery from lows in April petered out as many countries struggled to bring the virus under control. A drop in the dollar has also supported prices this month, although investors are bracing for fresh supply from the OPEC+ alliance when it relaxes its output curbs from August.The Next Move in Oil Prices May Be Down, Not Up: Julian LeeCrude has resisted a downward correction mainly due to “quite a sharp and sustained weakening in the U.S. dollar,” said Vandana Hari, founder of Vanda Insights in Singapore. Despite rising political tensions, the oil market is still “entirely consumed by figuring out the impact of the coronavirus demand destruction and demand recovery,” she said.The prompt timespread for the global crude benchmark is moving deeper into contango -- a market structure where near-dated contracts are cheaper than later-dated ones -- signaling concerns about over-supply are increasing. Brent futures for September delivery were 44 cents a barrel cheaper than those for October, compared with an 18 cent discount a week ago.There is also evidence North American crude production may be starting to recover. U.S. output rose for the first time since March in the week through July 17 after correcting for the impact of Tropical Storm Cristobal, which tore through the Gulf of Mexico in June, while Baker Hughes Co. data released Friday showed the first expansion in drilling in American fields in four months.Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has ordered his government to consider purchasing protection against slumps in crude prices, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The move is motivated in part by the desire to gain flexibility in talks with OPEC+ allies, the people said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Oil Dips With U.S.-China Tensions Compounding Demand Woes
(Bloomberg) -- Oil weakened as rising tensions between the U.S. and China exacerbated the pandemic-driven demand malaise stalling crude futures’ recovery.Futures in New York dropped nearly 2% on Monday. Chinese authorities took over the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, further signaling the deterioration in relations between Washington and Beijing and adding to investors’ concerns over dwindling demand from a resurgent coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, crude oil parked in floating storage is 244% higher than a year ago, according to Vortexa data, and still the OPEC+ alliance is preparing to ease unprecedented production cuts in a matter of days.The shape of the oil futures curve is also pointing to weakness: Brent’s prompt spread is trading in its largest contango structure since May.“What we continue to see is uncertainty surrounding what demand is going to look like,” said Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities. “When we look at not only inventories of oil but inventories broadly, they’re telling us we should not expect a significant tightening in markets.”U.S. benchmark crude futures have been ensnared in a narrow trading range around $40 a barrel since early June as a renewed virus outbreak put a cap on oil’s rebound from negative territory in April. Global Covid-19 cases have exceeded 16.2 million, with many countries around the world facing a surge in infections.“The market is on pause, even as OPEC and its allies deliver voluntary supply cuts as the oil market is still weary about the economic outlook,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA. “The weaker tone is also reflected in the front month spread for ICE Brent, where we see contango in the curve deepening.”Still, commodities have been boosted from a weak dollar amid negative real rates in the U.S. and bets the Federal Reserve will keep policy accommodative when it meets this week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was down as much as 1.1% on Monday.Investors will also be laser-focused on commentary around refining margins from the likes of Valero Energy Corp. when it reports earnings later this week, according to Peter McNally, global head for industrials, materials and energy at Third Bridge. The gasoline crack spread, a rough measure of the profit from refining crude into fuel, tumbled over 8% on Monday toward $10 a barrel. Gasoline futures were down as much as 3.1%.Crack spreads may not “support further utilization,” McNally said. “If refinery runs are curtailed or there’s any commentary around export weakness, whether it’s products or crude, it could add to negative sentiment.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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