viewBrent Crude Oil

Oil prices track losses in stock markets


Oil prices remain under pressure from lingering concerns over the strength of the economic recovery in the US and Europe’s debt problems.

Futures for crude oil fell in New York and London today as equity markets around the globe suffered another round of losses with traders dumping riskier stocks – such as oil and gas and mining companies – to buy safe harbour assets to protect wealth.

These trends are unlikely to reverse unless Friday’s non-farm payrolls report from the US Labor Department meets or exceeds expectations.

A Bloomberg survey projected the payrolls data to show a gain of 85,000 for July, while the unemployment rate is seen unchanged from the previous month at 9.2 percent.

Today’s non-farm payrolls update provide little relief for the markets, revealing a decline of just 1,000 to 400,000 in initial jobless claims last week.

In addition to fears that the slowing recovery will reduce energy demand, oil prices were hit by Wednesday’s official inventories figures from the US Department of Energy, which suggested that the US market is very well supplied.

The data showed that crude oil stockpiles added another one million barrels last week on top of a 2.3 million barrel increase in the previous week.

US light, sweet crude
for September delivery dropped 67 cents to US$91.26/barrel in morning trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

September Brent crude fell US$1.34 to US$111.73/barrel on the ICE Exchange this afternoon.

Today’s top risers in the sector were:

Xtract Energy (LON:XTR), up 3 percent at 2.75 pence at midday

Caspian Holdings (LON:CSH), up 2.5 percent at 0.374 pence

IGAS Energy (LON:IGAS), up 1 percent at 57.5 pence

The top fallers were:

TXO (LON:TXO), down 26 percent at 0.5 pence at midday

BowLeven (LON:BLVN)
, down 18 percent at 135 pence

Roxi Petroleum (LON:RXP), down 15 percent at 2.88 pence

Nighthawk Energy (LON:HAWK), down 15 percent at 4.25 pence

Rockhopper Exploration (LON:RXP)
, down 13.5 percent at 178 pence

Quick facts: Brent Crude Oil

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Market: LSE
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