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Crude futures settle lower as demand concerns linger

Increase font size  Decrease font size Date:2019-06-12   Views:85
Crude futures turned bearish Monday, turning lower on continued concerns that an economic slowdown would hamper oil demand.

NYMEX July crude settled 73 cents lower at $53.26/b, while ICE August Brent settled $1.00 lower at $62.29/b.
In refined products, NYMEX July RBOB settled 86 points lower at $1.7303/gal, and NYMEX July ULSD settled 1.85 cents lower at $1.8063/gal.

Crude futures had initially risen in overnight trade on news the US suspended planned 5% tariffs on imports of Mexican goods.

Equity markets climbed on the news as well, and extended gains in US trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending 78 points higher.

However, that crude turned lower despite the news showed the market was still concerned about global economic growth, especially with the US-China trade conflict remaining unresolved.

GDP has slowed in the United Kingdom, data form the Office for National Statistics showed Monday. UK GDP growth slowed to just 0.3% in April, from 0.5% during the first quarter.

"GDP growth showed some weakening across the latest 3 months, with the economy shrinking in the month of April mainly due to a dramatic fall in car production, with uncertainty ahead of the UK's original EU departure date leading to planned shutdowns," said the agency's head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith in a release.

Also, while Saudi Arabia has said OPEC is ready to extend its current production cuts beyond their June expiry, Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak said Monday his country is not ready to commit to further production cuts.

OPEC pumped an average 30.09 million b/d in May, the lowest since February 2015, an S&P Global Platts survey showed.

Cuts were led by Saudi Arabia. Iran production fell to its lowest level since November 1988, due to US sanctions,

"The group's attempt to soak up the excess supply in the market in an effort to add stability has for the most part worked," said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"An extension of the production cut, and more details on how the US-China are hoping to repair their trade relationship could make a huge difference for crude prices. Vice-versa, not reaching an extension on the OPEC+ agreement and if the US and China continue to spar on trade will only bring more downward pressure," Esparza added.
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