Oil ends steady near $50; best monthly gain in Brent in seven years By Reuters | Fri, 29th April 2016 - 19:41 By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices ended steady on Friday after hitting 2016 highs but finished April trading about 20 percent higher, with Brent crude having its best monthly gain in seven years.
A weaker dollar and optimism that a global oil glut will ease have lifted crude futures by more than $20 a barrel since they plumbed 12-year lows below $30 in the first quarter.
Brent futures settled just a penny lower at $48.13 a barrel, after reaching a 2016 peak at $48.50. It rose 21.5 percent in April, its largest monthly advance since May 2009.
U.S. crude futures closed 11 cents lower at $45.92 a barrel, after hitting a year-to-date high at $46.78. It gained 20 percent in April, the biggest monthly gain in a year.
With prices less than $5 away from $50 a barrel, investment bank Jefferies said the market "is coming into better balance" and would flip into undersupply in the second half of the year.
But others warned that the rally was driven by investors holding large speculative positions, while oil stockpiles were still high, with a Reuters survey showing OPEC output in April rising to its most in recent history.
"The issue is that we haven't seen price rallies ... correlate with fundamentals," said Hamza Khan, senior commodity strategist at ING. "The fundamentals - high stocks, high production - haven't changed."
Technical analysts said crude could cruise to $50 a barrel but stiffer resistance before $55 could spark profit-taking on the market's biggest rebound in two years.
Analysts polled by Reuters raised their average forecast for Brent in 2016 to $42.30 per barrel, the second consecutive month of increases.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note that "non-OPEC oil supply is indeed hanging off a cliff", and estimated that global output would contract year-on-year in April or May for the first time since 2013.
The OPEC survey aside, Saudi oil output was expected to edge up by 350,000 barrels per day to around 10.5 million bpd, sources told Reuters, as tankers filled with unsold oil floated at sea seeking buyers.
The discount in spot U.S. crude to the next trading month meanwhile whittled to its smallest since January, reducing the advantages of storing oil in the United States for later delivery.
A good week for the POO, but now approaching the $50 mark where is it likely to find some resistance?
However, if/when it break away from $50 its pretty much open water to $60 and after that who knows.
On a separate note, with respect to last week's RNS, there wasn't much comment about the 'renewal' of share options. So they cancelled some old options and issued some new (I lower priced options) which on the face of it appears to be a very good deal for the directors. I guess the question is, is the option price of 0.4p valid for 5 years overly generous?
"The share options have been granted at an exercise price of 0.4p and will be valid for a period of 5 years, with part of the grant vesting immediately and the remainder vesting one third on each anniversary of the grant for a period of three years following issue."
To me it looks like a pretty good deal (for the BoD members), on the other hand it does provide 3 years worth of golden handcuffs (for RW & RH). Does it also suggest that there is limited intention to sell up during that period?
Oil Trades Near $45 as U.S. Production Declines to 18-Month Low Grant SmithApr 28, 2016 9:12 am ET (Bloomberg) -- Oil traded near the highest close in more than five months after a further drop in U.S. crude production, as lower prices take their toll on the nation’s shale boom.
Futures advanced 0.5 percent in New York after rising 6.3 percent the previous two sessions to close above $45 a barrel. Production slipped for a seventh week to the lowest since October 2014, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. Nationwide stockpiles rose by 2 million barrels to 540.6 million, the highest since 1929.
“Falling U.S. production” is among factors “fueling speculative purchases of oil futures,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich. “That said, the oil market remains oversupplied, as best visible in U.S. commercial oil inventories. Prices remain vulnerable to the downside in the short run.”
Crude has rebounded after slumping to the lowest since 2003 earlier this year amid signs the worldwide surplus will ease as U.S. production declines. Oil extended gains Wednesday after Federal Reserve officials signaled they remain upbeat about the nation’s growth and are less worried about risks posed by global economic weakness and financial-market turbulence.
West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose as much as 26 cents to $45.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $45.57 at 1:58 p.m. London time. The contract gained $1.29 to $45.33 on Wednesday, the highest close since Nov. 4. Total volume traded was about 32 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for June settlement gained 33 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $47.51 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract, which expires Friday, rose 3.2 percent to $47.18 Wednesday. The more-active July future advanced 32 cents to $47.25. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $1.87 to WTI.
U.S. production dropped by 15,000 barrels a day to 8.94 million a day through April 22, according to the EIA report Wednesday.
Other market news: Russia may take part in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ scheduled June meeting to discuss a proposed freeze to output, according to an Interfax report. Saras Trading SA is in talks to boost crude imports from Iran, Chief Executive Officer Marco Schiavetti said in an interview in Houston. Baker Hughes Inc. reported a net loss of $981 million for the first quarter, according to a statement Wednesday.
Crude futures pulled back from 2016 highs early on Thursday as traders locked in profits after April's sharp rally, but analysts said falling U.S. production and strong investor appetite could push prices higher.
International Brent crude futures were trading at $47.02 per barrel at 0045 GMT, down 16 cents from their last settlement, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 12 cents at $45.21 a barrel.
The price dip came after both crude benchmarks hit 2016 highs the previous day in what has been one of the steepest price rises in recent years. Both Brent and WTI have rallied more than 70 percent since their respective 2016 lows in January and February.
Analysts said falling output in the United States and a weak dollar were pushing prices up and attracting investors.
"The recent trend of rising crude oil prices received another boost after U.S. output was shown to have fallen again last week," ANZ bank said, following a release by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing that crude oil production fell to 8.94 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, down almost half a million bpd from this time last year.
The output fall outweighed bearish data showing that U.S. crude stocks climbed 2 million barrels last week to an all-time peak of 540.6 million barrels, traders said.
However, the record crude storage figures may have spurred some traders to take profits in Thursday morning trade by closing long positions, they added.
ANZ said that further bullish momentum could emerge due to ongoing weakness in the dollar, which is down over 5 percent this year against a basket of other leading currencies, as a weaker greenback makes dollar-traded crude cheaper to buy for countries using other currencies at home.
"Investors should take comfort from a relatively market neutral FOMC (U.S. Federal Open Market Committee) statement. With fundamentals continuing to improve, this should see them to add to their already bullish positions in coming days," ANZ said.
The Federal Reserve said on Thursday that it would leave U.S. interest rates unchanged and that it was in no rush to hike rates soon.
RW stated that when the POO recovers we are "well placed to hit the ground running " - I do like her optimism I also like the fact that we are reinvesting profits .... It may take some time but IMHO our SP will recover....
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