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28.03.2013 16:00

Oil: a review of the market situation

Prices for WTI crude oil rose, approaching with up to a five-week high, as the data presented showed that the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter, more than previously estimated. Also influenced by the dynamics of trade report on the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits.

Note that according to the third and final evaluation of the Ministry of Commerce, GDP grew at an annual rate of 0.4% in the fourth quarter compared with the previous reporting 0.1% growth. The Ministry also stressed that economic activity in the U.S. in the last three months of 2012 has increased more rapidly than previously thought. But despite the upward revision, GDP growth rates were still lower than estimates of economists who had expected an increase of 0.5%. GDP growth will provide strong business expenses, indicating that companies are intensifying, despite the uncertainty in Washington.

Despite the growth in the last quarter of 2012, GDP growth is the weakest level since the beginning of the recovery in the second half of 2009. The economy so far has been growing for 14 consecutive quarters, and for all of last year's GDP grew by 2.2%.

We also add that the data that was presented the U.S. Labor Department showed that the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week of March 17-23, increased by 16, 000 and with the seasonally adjusted to 357 000. This is higher than the forecast of economists, who expected that the number of applications was 340,000. The number of initial claims is an indicator of layoffs. The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, March 10-16, was revised to 341,000 from 334 00. Published data are probably a sign that the labor market is to some extent lost its momentum.

Recall that yesterday's report from the Department of Energy showed that the overall demand for oil in the U.S. rose by 6.2% last week, reaching a level of 18.9 million barrels a day, which is the highest level since February 8.

May futures for U.S. light crude oil WTI (Light Sweet Crude Oil) rose to 96,92 dollars per barrel.

May futures price for North Sea petroleum mix of mark Brent fell 42 cents to $109.36 a barrel on the London Stock Exchange ICE Futures Europe.

Market Focus

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  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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