Oil prices rise on United States economic data, virus concerns limit gains

03 Juillet, 2020, 10:18 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Oil rises on manufacturing data U.S. inventories

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 13 cents, or 0.3%, to $39.69 a barrel at 0024 GMT, trimming a 1.4% rise from Wednesday. "Both contracts are coming under stronger pressure this morning as the spectre of lockdowns returns", said JBC Energy.

New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by almost 50,000 on Wednesday, according to a Reuters' tally, in the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic. Health experts have expressed concerns about record numbers of new cases in countries like the US India and Brazil, as well as new outbreaks in parts of Asia.

Brent crude futures eased six cents, or 0.1 per cent, to $41.97 a barrel, after rising 1.8 per cent in the previous session.

"But worrisome for oil prices are the densely populated southern U.S. states that have been ravaged by the virus and are among the US's most weighty consumers of gasoline".

The US Energy Information Agency reported that US crude inventories declined by 7.2 million barrels for the week-ended June 26.

The Nigerian government had, on Wednesday, increased the pump price of petrol by over N20 as a result of steady rise of crude oil in the global market.

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"Counter-seasonal builds in gasoline inventories as stockpiles unexpectedly rose are not precisely a bullish delight, " AxiCorp strategist, Stephen Innes, said in a note.

"The demand concerns continue to linger amid a rise in gasoline stockpiles as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 on Thursday".

The US PMI, due later on Wednesday, is forecast to show that activity in June continued to recover from an 11-year low in April, while the non-farm payrolls report on Thursday is expected to show the economy added 3 million jobs in June.

All eyes will be on driving activity in the United States over the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend and how quickly USA producers revive shut-in production, analysts said.

The increase came the same day the federal government lifted the ban on interstate travel.

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