Oil: Prices rose for a fourth week in a row as the US Gulf Coast refineries began restarting, though gains were capped as investors shifted their focus from hurricane Laura toward the slowing rebound in consumption. While Laura was one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit Louisiana, facilities in southeast Texas avoided the worst of the storm, allowing infrastructure there to start the recovery process immediately.
Oil: The oil futures market has been trading in a narrow range for weeks with crude propped up by inventory drawdowns and high OPEC compliance with its production cut. Price gains have been limited by demand concerns prompted by the continuing spread of the coronavirus. The markets closed slightly lower last week with New York futures at $42.34 and London at $44.35.
Oil: Prices squeezed out a small gain for the second straight week, but uncertainty around the US-China trade deal and fears of a resurgent pandemic limited the price rally. The International Energy Agency expects crude oil demand this year to be 8.1 million b/d lower than it was in 2019. It is a downward demand revision of 140,000 b/d in its latest Oil Market Report. Hopes are dimming for a stimulus package to relieve the US economy anytime soon, and coronavirus cases continue to increase globally.
Oil: Prices edged up to the highest since March last week on a larger-than-expected inventory draw, a slightly improved US jobs report, and hopes for a new stimulus package from Washington. However, fears of a second wave of COVID-19, increasing US-China tensions, and uncertainty about the US stimulus caused crude prices to retreat to a close of $41 in New York and $44 in London.
Oil posted a small gain in July, boosted by a steadily weakening dollar and OPEC’s restraint. Deep output curbs by OPEC+ have helped futures rebound from their plunge below zero in April, yet the unprecedented cuts will ease this month. US crude inventories have shown signs of shrinking and are currently sitting at their lowest since April.