OIL PRICE: NOT ABOVE $74 YET
REUTERS - Oil eased on Monday on rising U.S. borrowing costs and the prospect of further output rises after another increase in the weekly rig count, although the overall picture for crude remained bullish.
Brent crude futures were down 49 cents at $73.57 a barrel by 0911 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 51 cents to $67.89 a barrel.
"Underlying sentiment is bullish ... we've got an important decision from (U.S. President Donald) Trump coming up in May and we have OPEC potentially trying to 'overtighten' the market," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.
"(Fund managers) need a continuous flow of bullish news for their position to be maintained and this week, it's not a matter of just watching the oil market."
Broader financial markets were under pressure from the rise in U.S. government yields toward 3 percent, a level that in the past has triggered aggressive sell-offs in stocks, bonds and commodities.
"Whether a break above 3 percent will have an impact on currencies remains to be seen, but to have an overall rising cost of finance at a time when Saudi Arabia is aiming at $100, something is going to give. Last time we were at $100 interest rates were rock-bottom and that wasn't a concern to anyone. This time around, it's a different story," Hansen said.
Despite slipping on Monday, the oil market remains well supported, especially by strong demand in Asia.
Prices have risen by 25 percent in the last year thanks to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that were introduced in 2017 to prop up the market.
"Added price pressure comes from U.S. sanctions against the key oil exporting nations of Venezuela, Russia and Iran," said J.P. Morgan Asset Management Global Market Strategist Kerry Craig. He was referring to action the U.S. government has taken on Russian companies and individuals, as well as on potential new measures against struggling Venezuela and especially OPEC-member Iran.
"Stay long oil," J.P. Morgan said in a separate note.
The United States has until May 12 to decide whether it will leave a nuclear deal with Iran and impose new sanctions against Tehran, including potentially on its oil exports, which would further tighten global supplies.
That said, U.S. drilling activity is now at its highest in three years and a rising weekly rig count points to further increases in U.S. crude production, which is already up by a quarter since mid-2016 to a record 10.54 million barrels per day (bpd).
Only Russia produces more, at almost 11 million bpd.
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U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.
GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.
REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.