Daily Management Review

Supply Weighs Force Oil heads to head for Third Straight Weekly Loss


12/18/2015




Supply Weighs Force Oil heads to head for Third Straight Weekly Loss
Crude oil prices headed for a third weekly loss in a row, its longest losing streak in four months even as oil prices in general edged higher on Friday as investors closed positions ahead of the end of the year.
 
While U.S. crude futures traded at $35.02 a barrel, a rise of seven cents from Thursday's close, global benchmark Brent crude prices were trading up 38 cents at $37.44 a barrel.
 
Brent oil prices will post losses for a third consecutive year as a global supply glut brought prices close to 11-year lows this week. This is the first time this has happened since oil trading started in the 1980s.
 
For the first time since 1998, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. oil pricing benchmark, futures are set for a second straight yearly loss.
 
While some expected oil prices to rise further during the day as others closed out positions that had been benefiting from the slide in prices, many investors finished closing their books for 2015 on Friday ahead of the holiday break.
 
"I would not be surprised to see some rally today as some kind of pre-weekend profit taking," PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said.
 
By taking up more put options to sell U.S. crude in February, traders were preparing for even lower crude prices next year if there is a fall in prices further to $30, $25 or even $20 per barrel, according to Reuters data.
 
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said on Friday in Singapore that the seemingly unstoppable decline in oil is raising concerns about investment in future supplies
 
"The current low oil price make me worried because it means lower investments in new oil projects," he said.
 
"This year, oil investments declined more than 20 percent and more importantly we expect it will decline next year as well," Birol said. "We have never seen in the last 30 years oil investments decline two years in a row in the world,” he added.
 
"Everyone is worried about the $1.2 trillion options expiration that takes place today and you're going to see some jimmying and jammying around that," said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial in Florida.

"But, the historical precedent of the December expiration is that it's usually pretty damn bullish," he added.
 
All three indexes were set for their best weekly performance in a month.
 
All 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the industrials sector's 0.98 percent fall. Boeing weighed the most on the sector.
 
Exxon and Chevron shares were down less than 1 percent.
 
 (Source:www.reuters.com)






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