MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil for August hovers below $60/bbl

US crude oil futures for August delivery settled below $60/bbl on the New York market June 26 as tensions mounted about Greece, which ordered lenders to stay closed for 6 days starting June 29 while the country’s central bank sought to prevent money from streaming out of the country.

US crude oil futures for August delivery settled below $60/bbl on the New York market June 26 as tensions mounted about Greece, which ordered lenders to stay closed for 6 days starting June 29 while the country’s central bank sought to prevent money from streaming out of the country.

After 5 years of debt crisis, Greece appeared to be closer to an exit from the euro. The European Central Bank—meeting in an emergency session June 28—opted against extending emergency financing that has been sustaining Greek banks. Meanwhile, many depositors pulled their money out.

While the Greece debt problems have no direct impact on oil markets, analysts said that the uncertainty is rippling across most financial assets.

Separately, June 30 is the deadline for Iran to reach an agreement regarding its nuclear program. Some say the deadline is likely to be extended. If an agreement can be reached, it could allow Iran to begin exporting crude to global markets, which would put downward pressure on oil prices.

The August crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 7¢ on June 26 to settle at $59.63/bbl. The September contract was down 3¢ to settle at $59.97/bbl.

The natural gas contract for July was down nearly 8¢ to a rounded $2.77/MMbtu. The Henry Hub, La., gas price was down 2¢ to $2.77/MMbtu.

Heating oil for July rose less than a penny to a rounded $1.86/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for July was up 1¢ to a rounded $2.05/gal.

The August ICE contract for Brent crude was up 6¢ to $63.26/bbl while the September contract was up 8¢ to $63.84/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for July was up $3.75 to $574/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes for June 26 was $59.14/bbl, down 44¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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