Oil Makes Fresh Gains Amid Receding Oversupply Fears

Date : 11/01/2019 @ 11h55
Source : Dow Jones News

Oil Makes Fresh Gains Amid Receding Oversupply Fears

By Christopher Alessi 

-- Oil prices climbed Friday after nine consecutive sessions of gains, amid receding concerns over global oversupply and macroeconomic risks to global growth.

-- Brent crude -- the global oil benchmark -- was trading up 0.9%, at $62.22 a barrel, on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

-- West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. oil standard, were up 1%, at $53.12 a barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Oil Rally: Crude prices have closed higher for nine straight sessions in their longest winning streak in nine years. Both benchmarks have risen roughly 25% from yearly lows hit at the end of 2018, climbing back into bull-market territory. Prices had plummeted in the fourth quarter of last year, dropping around 40% from four-year highs reached at the start of October.

"Sentiment is normalizing" following the "extreme bearish levels in December," said Giovanni Staunovo, commodities analyst at UBS Wealth Management.

At the same time, Mr. Staunovo said, "economic growth concerns are less pronounced," which is positive for oil demand.

Equities: Oil is also being supported by rising global stock markets, which have been buoyed by signs of a potential thaw in U.S.-China trade tensions and a more cautious approach to raising interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"This more than week-long rally was given fresh impetus as shares on Wall Street eked out further gains amid lingering U.S. China trade optimism," said Stephen Brennock, analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.3% in morning trade in Europe, putting it on course to end the week 1.9% higher.

Analysts at Commerzbank noted that "tailwind is coming from the financial markets thanks to a weaker U.S. dollar and rising stock markets." Dollar-denominated commodities like oil tend to have an inverse relationship with the greenback, which was trading down 0.2% against a basket of 16 of its peers Friday morning, according to the WSJ Dollar Index.


OPEC+: Production curbs from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies outside the oil cartel went into effect at the start of the month, helping to alleviate investor fears over a burgeoning global supply glut. OPEC and 10 partner producers, led by Russia, agreed in early December to cut crude output by a collective 1.2 million barrels a day for the first six months of 2019. Saudi Arabia -- the de-facto head of OPEC and the world's largest exporter of crude -- also vowed this past week to further reduce its exports to keep the market in balance.

At the same time, rapid U.S. shale oil growth should slow over the course of the year as a result of relatively lower prices, according to analysts at Bank of America Merill Lynch. "On a net basis, we see aggregate year-on-year global oil growth of just 400,000 barrels a day in 2019 and a deficit building into the summer months," the analysts wrote in a note.


-- Baker Hughes on Friday reports weekly data on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S., a key metric of activity in the sector.

Write to Christopher Alessi at christopher.alessi@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2019 05:40 ET (10:40 GMT)

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