Market Journal

KBC: Index funds lift oil prices

August 3, 2009

A growing market force is floating crude prices above levels justified by the simple fundamentals of supply and demand, said analysts at KBC Market Services, a division of KBC Process Technology Ltd. in Surrey, UK.

A $60-70/bbl price band

July 27, 2009

Strong rallies in both equity and commodity markets in late July pushed front-month crude contracts above $68/bbl in New York and $70/bbl in London just 2 weeks after the price dipped below $60/bbl in a more pessimistic market.

Gas market seeks sign

July 20, 2009

Four consecutive weeks of smaller-than-expected injections of natural gas into US storage triggered a 12% price jump for the front-month contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange in mid-July in what some hoped might be the first sign that well shut-ins and reduced drilling may be decreasing supply.

CFTC undercuts crude prices

July 13, 2009

It was more than a resurgence of economic pessimism that slashed the August contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes by $11.60/bbl through seven of eight trading sessions to a $59.89/bbl close July 10 on the New York market, said Paul Horsnell, a managing director and head of commodities research at Barclays Capital in London.

Unauthorized trades push price peaks

July 6, 2009

Front-month crude contracts jumped June 30 to “fake” intraday highs of $73.38/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange—the highest this year—and $73.50/bbl on the International Petroleum Exchange through unauthorized trades by an employee at a subsidiary of PVM Oil Associates Ltd., London.

Lack of peace boosts prices

June 29, 2009

Crude prices are sure to rise since “world peace isn't breaking out,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

Crude tests $73/bbl

June 15, 2009

The July contract for benchmark US light sweet crude hit an intraday high of $73.23/bbl June 11 on the New York Mercantile Exchange before closing at $72.68/bbl, up $1.35 for the day after the International Energy Agency in Paris increased its prediction of global oil demand for the first time in 10 months.

'Goldilocks range' of prices

June 8, 2009

Top producers—especially key members of OPEC—seek a “Goldilocks range” of crude prices, “neither too hot nor too cold for both producers and consumers,” said Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Barclays Capital, London, in a recent report.

Hope floats oil prices

June 1, 2009 The May 28 OPEC meeting was essentially "over before it started" after Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in advance that the world economy is showing enough signs of recovery to cope with $75-80/bbl oil.

Crude tops $62/bbl

May 25, 2009 On May 20, its first day in the front month position, the July contract for benchmark US sweet, light crudes escalated $1.94 to $62.04/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking the first closing above $60/bbl since early November.

Market fundamentals dampen optimism

May 18, 2009 Hope for economic recovery raised the front-month contract of benchmark US crudes briefly above $60/bbl for the first time this year on NYMEX before it fell back to $56.34/bbl in the week ended May 15.

A May rally in energy prices

May 11, 2009 Energy prices rallied in early May with natural gas climbing above $4/MMbtu and crude at one point topping $58/bbl—a new high for the year.

Possible shift in gas fundamentals

May 4, 2009 Analysts at Pritchard Capital Partners in New Orleans reported a pending shift in the bearish fundamentals of the natural gas market with US production expected to drop because of a 57% decline in the US rig count.

Tax hike sends wrong signal

April 27, 2009 The push by consumer nations for lower oil prices to help spark an economic recovery may be undermined when crude-producing nations see those governments take advantage of oil price reductions.

Tight April crude prices

April 20, 2009 For 5 consecutive weeks through Apr. 17, the front-month contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes finished each week "almost unchanged" from the close of the previous week within a narrow price range above $50/bbl, said Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix, Zug, Switzerland.

Oil prices climbed in March, April

April 13, 2009 After trading at lower levels for 4 months, benchmark oil prices climbed above $50/bbl in late March and early April, exceeding $52/bbl in light trading Apr. 9 ahead of commodity markets closing for the Good Friday holiday in New York and London.

Volatile second quarter prices

April 6, 2009 Oil prices were sharply volatile entering the second quarter of 2009 and are likely to remain "within a rising trend," said Paul Horsnell, managing director and head of commodities research at Barclays Capital.

Economic outlook remains cloudy

March 30, 2009 In the final days of March, market analysts saw some indications that the economic crisis might be nearing bottom and could perhaps rebound in the second half of this year.

Economic outlook remains cloudy

March 30, 2009 In the final days of March, market analysts saw some indications that the economic crisis might be nearing bottom and could perhaps rebound in the second half of this year.

OPEC expects lower oil demand

March 16, 2009 A few days before its Mar. 15 meeting in Vienna, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reduced its latest forecast of 2009 world crude demand by 400,000 b/d for a total loss of 1.01 million b/d to 84.6 million b/d.
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