Energy Commodities Price Watch: WTI Extends Winning Streak on German Data

on Jun 28, 2013
Listen, Friday, June 28th: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has advanced for a fifth day today propped up by positive economic data in the US and Germany. Brent crude has also gained ground, with investors focusing on the latest comments from US Federal Reserve governors suggesting that the US central bank is in no hurry to taper its quantitative easing programme. The natural gas price has also advanced but remains poised for a second monthly decline with a larger-than-expected jump in inventories sending natural gas futures to a four-month low yesterday.

**WTI Price Set for Longest Gain since April**
WTI futures for August delivery added 77 cents to $97.82 a barrel on the NYMEX, before retreating to $97.33 as of 11:55 BST. The WTI price is 5.8 percent up this month and is little changed in the second quarter. As Bloomberg reported, futures climbed on signs of economic recovery in Germany and in the US, seen as supporting fuel consumption. German retail sales rose more than forecast last month, while consumer spending in the US rebounded.

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“Oil trading is mostly macro-driven today,” commented Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital, as quoted by Bloomberg. “Refinery runs in the US are very healthy, but the upside for crude will still be limited by the long-term comfortable cushion of supply.”

This month, the WTI oil price has also been supported by concerns related to tension in Syria with investors fearing that it could spread to other oil-producing countries in the Middle East.
**Brent Price Rises above $103 on Easing Fed Concerns**
Brent futures for August settlement rose 12 cents to trade at $102.94 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. As Reuters reported, Brent crude was supported by comments from Fed governors easing investors’ concerns that the US central bank would soon scale back its quantitative easing programme.

“Next week will be a short week, due to the July 4 holiday in the US, but an important one,” pointed out Olivier Jakob, analyst at consultancy Petromatrix, as quoted by Reuters. “Non-farm payrolls next Friday will set the tone on whether QE3 will ease.” The Fed has linked its monetary stimulus to the health of the US jobs market.
While the Brent oil price is up 2.5 percent in June, the European benchmark remains on track for a third consecutive drop this quarter, the longest streak of quarterly losses since 1998.

**Natural Gas Price on Track for Second Monthly Drop**
Natural gas futures for August delivery rose 0.59 percent to trade at $3.60 per million British thermal units on the NYMEX as of 08:35 ET. Despite today’s advance, the natural gas price is headed for a second consecutive month of declines.
!m[Brent Price Advances, but Remains on Track for Third Quarterly Loss ](/uploads/story/3523/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
As Bloomberg reported, yesterday futures shed 4.2 percent, or 15.5 cents, the biggest one-day drop since June 6, following data by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing that inventories had jumped by 95 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 21 to 2.533 trillion cubic feet. Analysts had expected a 90 million gain, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. The newswire quoted Dominick
Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute, as saying that the EIA report was “a
reflection of the fact that we have very sluggish demand picture right now”.
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