Oil steady as emerging market woes dim demand outlook

15 August, 2018, 05:24 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Oil hits one-week high as Iran-driven rally gathers pace

French energy giant Total has already said it is pulling out of its multi-billion-dollar investment project in the South Pars oil field in southern Iran as a result of the renewed sanctions.

West Texas Intermediate was down 0.6% to $67.34 per barrel at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Crude slid to the lowest in seven weeks as economic turbulence in Turkey and the strengthening greenback heightened concerns about global oil demand. Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $72.63 per barrel at 0509 GMT, down by 18 cents, or 0.25 percent from their last close.

OPEC said the demand slowdown would come on the back of potentially lower economic growth as a result of trade disputes between the United States and China as well as emerging market turmoil.

That is compounding worries that a deepening trade war between the United States, China and the European Union will squeeze business activity in the world's biggest economies.

In addition, OPEC reduced its projection for global oil demand growth for this year by 20,000 to 1.64 million bpd, while lowering the forecast for the next year by 20,000 to 1.43 million bpd.

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"The energy complex is being increasingly jostled by fresh daily headlines that don't necessarily have much effect on current supply or demand on a short term basis but could dramatically affect oil balances when looking down the road just a few months", he said.

OPEC production averaged 32.32 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, 40,700 higher than June, according to the group's monthly oil market report, based on secondary source figures.

But output from non-OPEC countries is rising quickly.

USA energy companies last week added the most oil rigs since May, adding 10 rigs to bring the total count to 869, according to the Baker Hughes energy services firm.

Investors are now seen weighing bullish factors that include potential supply disruptions to Iranian crude exports against more bearish indicators, such as broad greenback strength and a ramp-up in production by OPEC and its allied partners.

Iran is the third-largest producer among the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Brent, the worldwide benchmark, shed 0.3% to $72.74 a barrel.

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