Oil prices were down slightly on Monday as traders
start to position ahead of economic growth data from the eurozone due
out this week.
On London’s ICE Futures, trading in the global crude benchmark Brent
was down 0.55% at $49.06 a barrel for cargoes loading in October.
Trade in WTI was also extremely slow, with prices down 0.5% at $45.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Volumes were subdued, with the U.S. and Canadian markets closed for a bank holiday, traders said.
European nations are expected to report their second-quarter growth
numbers later this week, and disappointing data could depress the oil
market, traders said.
Singapore-based Phillip Futures believes the Brent and WTI prices to hit $46.81 and $43.53 respectively by Friday. Increasing supply from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, especially from Iran, further dampens any bullish sentiment.
“We cannot see anything in the short term that is going to prop up
prices to any great extent,” said Phillips Futures’ analyst Daniel Ang.
“However, higher seasonal demand should kick in soon and have an effect on inventories which in turn should have a positive impact on prices.”
Also this week, the Paris-based International Energy Agency will issue its monthly report, which will contain the full outlook for crude oil in 2016, but traders aren’t expecting any major surprises.
Industry research group Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. decreased by 13 last week to 662, the first weekly decline in seven weeks.
Meanwhile, Barclays was the latest bank to reduce its oil-price
estimates, citing continued oversupply and weak Chinese economic data.
The bank now expects Brent crude to average $52 a barrel for the second half of 2015, a cut of $11 from its previous forecast, and $63 a barrel in 2016, a reduction of $5.