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01.08.2014 15:40

Oil: an overview of the market situation

The price of oil fell moderately today, being at the same time near two-week low (grade Brent), as excess in the Atlantic basin and low demand outweighed concerns about tensions in the Middle East, North Africa and the Ukraine.

Experts point out that in spite of geopolitical risks, oil prices continue to fall. Neither situation in Iraq or a reduction in exports of Libyan oil or another military conflict between Israel and Hamas is unable to keep them from falling. It seems that speculators realized that almost all of these events will not reflect on the world oil market. According to forecasts, this year its production exceeds demand, so price drop seems logical.

The course of trade also influenced today's data on China, which showed activity indicators in the manufacturing sector in China in July rose, which was another sign of recovery in the sector. The official purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing of China in July rose to 51.7, its highest level in 27 months, against 51.0 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics reported. The July index was above economists' forecast - at 51.4. Subindex of manufacturing activity in small businesses in July rose to 50.1, surpassing the mark of 50 for the first time since April 2012. The new orders sub-index rose to 53.6, its highest level since May 2012. Meanwhile, according to HSBC Holdings PLC, the Purchasing Managers Index rose to 51.7 in July, its highest level in 18 months, against 50.7 in June. Nevertheless, the figure was lower than the preliminary assessment and the experts' forecasts - at the level of 52.0 points

Meanwhile, adding that a further fall in prices for oil futures today restrained today significant weakening of the U.S. dollar.

Market participants' attention is also drawn data and Thomson-Reuters Institute of Michigan, which showed that in July U.S. consumers feel more pessimistic about the economy than was recorded in the last month. According to the data, in July the final index of consumer sentiment fell to 81.8 compared with the final reading for June at 82.5 and the initial estimate for July at around 81.3. It is worth noting that, according to the average estimates of experts, the index was down compared with the June value to the level of 81.5.

The cost of the September futures on U.S. light crude oil WTI (Light Sweet Crude Oil) fell to $ 97.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

September futures price for North Sea Brent crude oil mixture fell 97 cents to $ 104.82 a barrel on the London exchange ICE Futures Europe.

Market Focus

  • Euro Area trade balance surplus declined significantly in August
  • Consumer prices in China were up 1.6 percent on year in September,
  • US consumer sentiment surged in early October, reaching its highest level since the start of 2004 says UoM
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
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