Tuesday 21 November 2017

Oil heads for weekly loss before jobs report

Alexander Kwiatkowski

Crude oil traded around $73 a barrel in New York, heading for its first weekly decline in four weeks, before a US report that may show the world’s biggest economy lost jobs last month for the first time this year.

US payrolls declined by 130,000 last month, according to the median estimate of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The Labour Department publishes its report today at 8:30am in Washington. Oil may fall next week on growing concern the US economic recovery is faltering, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

“Oil is driven by other asset classes and very broad economic factors which will indirectly affect oil demand in the future,” said Hannes Loacker, a Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich analyst in Vienna.

“There are no real changes in oil fundamentals. The correlation to risky asset classes such as equities will remain strong. ”

Oil for August delivery was up 29 cents at $73.24 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:35am.

Brent crude for August was up 34 cents at $72.68 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Crude fell 7.5pc in the past four days, touching a three-week low of $72.05 yesterday, amid concern the economic recovery in the US and China will slow and curb demand in the world’s two largest energy consumers. China yesterday reported slowing manufacturing expansions.

“China is very important and the last data gave a rather mixed picture,” Loacker said.

European stock markets gained as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rebounded from a five-week low.

The index added 0.4pc to 238.26 at 9:27am in London. Asian shares fell, while US index futures were little changed.

The US dollar traded at $1.2495 against the euro, from $1.2537 yesterday.

Oil prices may fall further next week, a Bloomberg News survey showed. Twenty of 38 analysts, or 53pc, forecast crude will decline through July 9.

Ten respondents, or 26pc, predicted that futures will be little changed and eight saw an increase. Last week an equal number of analysts forecast a gain or drop.


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