Oil climbs but still set for big weekly loss over demand worries

Recent data showing a slowdown in US shale output and drilling activity could lend some support to oil prices. (Reuters)
Updated 04 October 2019

Oil climbs but still set for big weekly loss over demand worries

  • For the week, Brent futures were down 6.3 percent, marking its largest weekly loss since July
  • US West Texas Intermediate was down 5.7 percent for the week, also its biggest decline since July

SINGAPORE: Oil futures were higher ahead of the weekend but remained on track for large weekly losses on fears that slower global economic growth will hurt fuel demand, even as Saudi Arabia said it has fully restored oil output after recent attacks.
Brent crude oil futures rose 28 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $57.99 a barrel by 0450 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $52.74.
“Asia will probably see some buying emerge over the session as traders hedge potential weekend geopolitical risk, although the session should be quiet with China still on holiday,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore.
For the week, Brent futures were down 6.3 percent, marking its largest weekly loss since July. WTI was down 5.7 percent for the week, also its biggest decline since July.
“The recovery from the initial sell-off looked more a case of hope rather than reality,” said Halley.
Weak US services sector and jobs growth data on Thursday added to worries about global oil demand and exacerbated fears that a protracted US-China trade war could push the global economy into a recession.
“Concerns about global oil demand are rising, and next week’s US-China trade talks, the significant X factor, will be particularly important, given the sharp drop in the oil price over the last week,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, also said on Thursday the world’s top crude oil exporter has fully restored oil output after attacks on its facilities last month knocked out more than 5 percent of global oil supply.
“The mood wasn’t helped by news that Saudi Arabia has managed a speedy recovery from the recent attacks,” ANZ Bank said in a note on Friday.
Recent data showing a slowdown in US shale output and drilling activity, however, could lend some support.
“Continued falls in drilling activity has seen monthly growth in US shale oil output fall, from 150 thousand barrels per day (kbpd) to only 50 kbpd,” said ANZ.
“This is likely to linger well into 2020.”


Malaysia to study impact of India’s planned trade action

A truck carrying oil palm fruits passes through Felda Sahabat plantation in Lahad Datu in Malaysia's state of Sabah on Borneo island, February 20, 2013. (REUTERS)
Updated 55 min 6 sec ago

Malaysia to study impact of India’s planned trade action

  • Malaysia’s key imports from India include petroleum products, live animals and meats, metals, chemicals and chemical products

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his government will monitor the trade situation with India, which is reported to be considering trade curbs on the Southeast Asian nation over his criticism of actions in Kashmir, news wire Bernama reported.
Government and industry sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi is looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and other goods from Malaysia, in retaliation for Mahathir’s speech at the United Nations in September when he said India had “invaded and occupied” Jammu and Kashmir. Malaysia had said it did not receive “anything official” from India.
Mahathir said on Sunday his government will “study the impact of the action taken by India,” the government-owned Bernama said.
“They are exporting goods to Malaysia too. It’s not just one-way trade, it’s two-way trade,” Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report.
India is the world’s biggest importer of edible oils, and is the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil. It bought 3.9 million tons of Malaysian palm oil in the first nine months of 2019, according to data compiled by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
Malaysia’s key imports from India include petroleum products, live animals and meats, metals, chemicals and chemical products.