Energy Commodities Price Watch: WTI Eases after Hovering Near 14-Month High

on Jul 4, 2013
Listen, Thursday, July 4th: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) eased on Thursday after trading near its highest level in 14 months, boosted by a decline in US stockpiles and investor worries related to the escalating tension in Egypt where the army had ousted President Mursi. The Brent price also declined after reaching its highest level in two weeks. The natural gas price snapped three days of gains with a government report pointing to a rise in inventories.

**WTI Price Close to 14-Month High**
WTI futures for August delivery shed 31 cents to trade at $100.93 a barrel as of 12:18 BST on the NYMEX, after rising $1.64, or 1.7 percent, to $101.24 yesterday, the highest settlement price and the first one above the $100 level since May 3, 2012. The WTI price uptrend was prompted by the weekly US
Energy Administration Information (EIA) report which showed that US crude inventories declined by 10.3 million barrels last week. The oil price also benefitted from supply concerns related to speculation that the political turmoil in Egypt might interrupt supplies along the Suez Canal.

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Bloomberg quoted Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch as noting that the situation has eased following the toppling of Mursi on Wednesday, which has led to a moderate downward pressure on the oil price.
According to Tamas Varga, an analyst at oil brokers PVM, while it is too early to say that the situation has calmed down, “the safe operation of the Suez, which is in the interest of both Persian Gulf countries and oil-consuming nations, seems to be guaranteed”.

Today there is no floor trading on the NYMEX because of the Fourth of July holiday. Electronic transactions will be booked tomorrow for settlement purposes.
**Brent Price Eases**
Brent for August settlement lost 61 cents to trade at $105.15 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. On Wednesday, the European benchmark rose to $106.03 per barrel, its highest price in two

North Sea oil field operators are expected to release August loading programmes for various grades of crude today and tomorrow, including the four varieties making up the Dated Brent price benchmark.
Investors will also be watching closely the US non-farm payrolls figures due on Friday, looking for clues when the Federal Reserve might scale back its bond-buying programme.

**Natural Gas Price Declines**
!m[Natural Gas Price Snaps Three Days of Gains](/uploads/story/3688/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
Natural gas futures lost ground on Thursday, snapping three days of gains. Futures for August delivery shed 1.63 percent to trade at $3.63 per million British thermal units on the NYMEX as of 09:22 ET. On Wednesday, the contract closed one percent higher at $3.69 per million British thermal units. The EIA reported on Wednesday that inventories had added 72 billion cubic feet to 2.605 trillion cubic feet in the week ended June 28.
Bloomberg quoted Gordy Elliott, a risk-management specialist at Intl FCStone Inc, as commenting that the supplies were “still pretty heavy and we don’t see any major weather that would lead to heavy power demand”.


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