Alexa

Oil hovers near $69 as traders eye US economy

Oil hovers near $69 as traders eye US economy

Oil prices hovered near $69 a barrel Monday as traders looked to macroeconomic indicators due later this week for signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.
By midday in Europe, benchmark crude for August delivery was up 39 cents to $69.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it fell $1.07 to settle at $69.16.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency's report revising downward its medium-term forecast for global oil demand had little immediate impact on markets.
The IEA said demand is likely to grow by an average of 0.6 percent annually over the 2008-2014 period. It would reach 89 million barrels a day by 2014 assuming the International Monetary Fund's current forecast of a return to 5 percent annual economic growth by 2012, the agency said.
Oil prices yo-yoed near $70 a barrel last week as investors mulled mixed signals on whether the U.S. economy, the world's largest, is poised to climb out of its worst recession in decades.
Investors will be eyeing economic data this week, including the Labor Department's June unemployment report. The jobless rate hit a 25-year high of 9.4 percent in May, jumping from 8.9 percent the previous month.
The latest indicators of consumer confidence and manufacturing will also be released.
Crude has doubled since March, leading some analysts to predict oil will pullback until definitive signs of economic growth emerge.
"There's concern about sluggish oil demand," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with consultancy Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. "Unless we see data that shows a clear economic recovery, prices may have peaked in the short-term."
"The oil price rally is running out of steam."
In other Nymex trading, gasoline for July delivery gained 0.14 cent to $1.8755 a gallon and heating oil rose 0.52 cent to $1.7355.
Natural gas for July delivery fell 4.8 cents to $4.057 per 1,000 cubic feet, as the IEA projected that natural gas demand this year would drop for the first time in 50 years.
In London, Brent prices rose 33 cents to $69.25 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
___
Associated Press writer Alex Kennedy in Singapore contributed to this report.


Updated : 2020-12-04 13:48 GMT+08:00