Oil on Downward Track as Analysts Worry About.....Everything

Monday July 15, 2019

Crude trading on Monday and Tuesday suggests that the commodity may be returning to a modestly downward trajectory, inspired by U.S. producers resuming operations in the aftermath of hurricane Barry and weak economic data from China.

Brent on Tuesday was down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $66.38 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate also fellĀ  by 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $59.48 per barrel; in the previous session they fell 0.4 percent and 1 percent respectively.

U.S. producers in the Gulf of Mexico restoring nearly 74 percent of their output on Monday was widely regarded in the analytical community as justification to resume worries about oversupply.

And even though Chinese data on industrial output and retail data beat expectations when it was released on Monday, analysts still noted that economic growth of 6.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019 was the weakest in 27 years.

As if to prove that the experts are never happy with anything, Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, noted that "It seems that some of the concerns that we were close to a military conflict with Iran has eased a little bit, so that has also weighed on prices."

Unsurprisingly, forecasts for the longer term were not much more upbeat: Tamas Varga, senior analyst at PVM Oil Associates, remarked, "The basic message is that the second half of this year will see some depletion in global oil inventories but this will be followed by a dismal 2020, especially the first six months of next year."

However, Tom Thornton, founder of hedge fund Telemetry, told Bloomberg television he believes crude could move above April highs on the strength of U.S. refineries coming back on line and upcoming expected drawdowns, as well as geopolitical tension, however reduced, between Iran and the west.