Inside Financial Markets



SINGAPORE, July 4 (Reuters) – Brent futures held steady around $111 a barrel on Friday on signs of an improving demand outlook, although the benchmark is still set to post its biggest weekly loss since early January as supply worries that have rattled oil markets for weeks recede. U.S. oil futures are down for a seventh straight day amid expectations of more shipments from Libya and Iran. The last time the contract fell for so many days was in December 2009. Yet hopes of an improved demand outlook in the United States and China and worries that the Iraqi crisis may spin out of control mean losses will be limited. Brent crude LCOc1 rose 7 cents to $111.07 a barrel by 0453 GMT and looks set to lose 2 percent this week. U.S. oil CLc1 lost 7 cents to $103.99 a barrel and is set to end the week down 1.7 percent, the biggest weekly loss since end-April. “Supply fears are easing somewhat, but Iraq is setting a high floor on prices,” said Victor Shum, vice-president of energy consultancy IHS Energy Insight. “It’s a combination of improving demand outlook and supply worries. One would have to be really brave to sell in this market.” The twin factors will keep the U.S. benchmark above $100 a barrel, Shum said. Investors are watching the progress of talks between Tehran and world powers to end the decades-old dispute over its controversial nuclear programme. Iran has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment programme although the West is urging Tehran to compromise further. (Full Story) Prospects of further easing of sanctions and more Iranian oil hitting the market come a day after Libyan Prime Minister declared an end to an oil crisis that has cut exports from the OPEC member to a trickle. (Full Story) “If it wasn’t for the situation in Iraq, with the possibility of higher Libyan supplies, more Iranian oil, we would have seen prices a lot lower,” Shum said. DEMAND OUTLOOK On the demand front, U.S. employment growth jumped in June and the jobless rate closed in on a six-year low, pointing to decisive evidence the country was growing briskly heading into the second half of the year. (Full Story) The positive signs of growth from the United States closely followed data from China that showed factory activity there hit multi-month highs in June, adding to sentiment that demand for oil would remain solid. (Full Story) Broader financial markets – including Asian shares and the dollar – firmed after the U.S. jobs data report. MKTS/GLOB But investors are still nervous about the unfolding crisis in OPEC’s second-largest producer Iraq. Its autonomous Kurdish region has hit back at Baghdad over independent oil exports, with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) threatening in a letter to countersue the central government for trying to block its sales. (Full Story) Militants from the Islamic State group also seized Syria’s largest oil field from rival Islamist fighters on Thursday, strengthening its advance across the eastern Deir al-Zor province, an opposition monitoring group said. (Full Story) However, the change in control of the field should have little impact on global oil markets. Syria is not a significant producer and has not exported any oil since late 2011, when international sanctions took effect to raise pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

Sanie Khan

Sanie Khan holds a deep knowledge of the financial markets in Pakistan. Based in Karachi, he has over 20 years of hands-on management experience in financial technologies and managing operations in the financial sector. He was the General Manager at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) for 17 years. He along-with senior members of Exchange

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Canadian Securities Institute


CSI is part of Moody's Analytics Learning Solutions, which offers educational programs and credentials throughout the world.

Email Newsletter

Subscribe to receive inspiration, news, and ideas in your inbox.

Inside Financial Markets was a joint publication of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)and Society of Technical Analysts Pakistan (STAP)