Oil falls on lower demand outlook, US-China trade dispute

13 Août, 2019, 11:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Oil Declines as Trade Tensions Continue to Stoke Demand Fears

On Friday, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up $1.96, or about 3.7%, at $54.50 a barrel.

In a sign of lower production in the United States, the weekly USA oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell for a sixth straight week as producers cut spending on new drilling and completions. While it seems hard to imagine that prices could reach such a low point, there's definitely a case to be made that the fundamentals of oil demand aren't strong enough to support the ever-increasing supply being produced.

While OPEC cuts might have initially pushed prices up while recent oil tanker attacks sent oil surging even more, this has largely been counteracted by America's growing domestic output.

US-China trade spat; global growth concerns weigh heavily. "China trade negotiations", Stephen Innes, managing partner at VM Markets Pte Ltd, said in a note.

However, Kuwait's Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel said fears of a global economic downturn, which have pressured oil prices, were "exaggerated", and global crude demand should pick up in the second half, helping to gradually reduce oil inventories.

Germany's Ifo economic institute said its quarterly survey of almost 1,200 experts in more than 110 countries showed that its measures for current conditions and economic expectations have both worsened in the third quarter.

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Analysts said more reductions were needed to support prices as forecasters and government agencies issue gloomy predictions for the global economy and oil demand growth.

"It's going to take the market far longer to come back into balance, which has forced OPEC and non-OPEC producers to continue with their production cuts", said Andy Lipow, president at Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

Crude prices held their gains after oil-field services firm Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. oil rigs fell again for another week - down by six to 764.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Sunday it no longer expects a trade deal between the world's two largest economies before the 2020 US presidential election.

"The swift reaction from Saudi Arabia will likely stabilize oil prices, but the oil price probably won't move much above $60 per barrel until there is evidence of progress in U.S". A softer greenback makes dollar-denominated crude cheaper for foreign buyers. It was a signal some investors are "trying to pick the bottom", said Robert Yawger, an analyst at Mizuho in NY. "The spec (ulator) community appears to want to trade these lows".

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