Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Oil prices rise over 2 percent on trade talk optimism

Goldman cuts 2019 crude price view; sees recovery from current levels Crude Oil Price Likely to Push Higher on US - China Trade Hopes
Orlando Vargas | 09 January, 2019, 11:29

Brent for March settlement gained 97 USA cents to US$58.30 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange in London.

"If compliance by OPEC and the allied non-OPEC countries is similarly high as in the agreement two years ago, the oil market is likely to be rebalanced during the first half year", Commerzbank wrote in a note on Monday.

Once again, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) newly-implemented output cuts were credited for crude prices rising yet again on Monday: Brent rose 27 cents to settle at $57.33 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose 56 cents to settle at $48.52 per barrel.

Oil futures have gained about 10 percent since last Monday. "Momentum is coming back into the market from very depressed price levels", Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said, according to Reuters.

Further support for higher crude oil prices came from rising Turkish exports of Iranian crude, planned output cuts in Saudi Arabia and the nearly omnipresent problems in Libya's Sharara oil field. "Fed's easier stance and OPEC's commitment to cut production, as well as expectations that inventories should drop are lending a hand to this positive investor sentiment". "We continue to view the OPEC production cuts that became official last week as a legitimate bullish consideration and we still look for the reduction to translate to a reduced USA crude surplus that could potentially be erased in some 8-9 weeks", Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

But looming over the OPEC-led cuts is a surge in USA oil supply, driven by a steep rise in onshore shale drilling.

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American crude stockpiles probably declined by 2.7 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts ahead of government data on Wednesday.

Consultancy JBC Energy said it was likely that USA crude production was "significantly above 12 million bpd" by early January.

With more than 20 years' trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

The America-China trade talks are showing signs of progress.

"The dynamics of oil prices in 2019 will also depend in large part on Opec's effectiveness in implementing the cuts, balancing the market and reinforcing the credibility of its signals", said the report. Disruptions to trade undermine prospects for economic growth and oil demand.

Brent crude has risen by around $4 since the cuts came into force on 1 January.

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