Phil Flynn is writer of The Energy Report, a daily market commentary discussing oil, the Middle East, American government, economics, and their effects on the world's energies markets, as well as other commodity markets. Contact Mr. Flynn at (888) 264-5665
[The Daily Star via Bloomberg]
Oil hovered close to a 30-month high as civil unrest in Iran heightened concern about potential supply disruptions in OPEC’s third-biggest crude producer. Futures held above $60 a barrel in New York. In Iran, the death toll mounted amid some of the most violent clashes in years between security forces and protesters. The country pumps about 3.8 million barrels a day. Last week’s 3.3 percent advance in the U.S. oil benchmark capped a 12 percent gain for 2017 as OPEC, Russia and other major suppliers cooperated to curb a worldwide glut.
“There’s not a lot of bearish news out there right now,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The market is going to settle in” around $60 and likely move higher.
Oil rose in New York last year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies trimmed supplies. U.S. crude output has also slipped from a record high, with weekly production falling through Dec. 22 for the first time since mid-October. Any interruption to Iranian supply would be a significant shock to the market.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was down 5 cents to $60.37 a barrel at 10:11 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In earlier trading, the contract touched $60.74, the highest intraday level since June 2015.
Brent for March settlement fell 20 cents to $66.67 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at a premium of $6.26 to WTI for the same month. The global benchmark crude rose about 18 percent last year for a second annual increase.
Though the Iranian unrest that began Thursday in the northeastern city of Mashhad initially targeted the government’s handling of the economy, the focus expanded within a day to the religious establishment and state security forces. As many as a dozen people may have died.
“I would not be surprised if any outcome of the current crisis would be ultimately negative for the oil price,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “Should the protests lead to regime change, it might attract massive new investments and result in higher output.”A Subsidiary of Price Holdings, Inc. – a Diversified Financial Services Firm. Member NIBA, NFA Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Investing in futures can involve substantial risk of loss & is not suitable for everyone. Trading foreign exchange also involves a high degree of risk. The leverage created by trading on margin can work against you as well as for you, and losses can exceed your entire investment. Before opening an account and trading, you should seek advice from your advisors as appropriate to ensure that you understand the risks and can withstand the losses. The information and data in this report were obtained from sources considered reliable. Their accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed and the giving of the same is not to be deemed as an offer or solicitation on our part with respect to the sale or purchase of any securities or futures. The Price Futures Group, its officers, directors, employees, and brokers may in the normal course of business have positions, which may or may not agree with the opinions expressed in this report. Any decision to purchase or sell as a result of the opinions expressed in this report will be the full responsibility of the person authorizing such transaction. Reproduction and/or distribution of any portion of this report are strictly prohibited without the written permission of the author. Trading in futures contracts, options on futures contracts, and forward contracts is not suitable for all investors and involves substantial risks. ©2018