Oil Market Update (March 20, 2012)

- March 20th, 2012

A brief overview of oil price developments, supply and demand, and significant market movers.

By Adam Currie — Exclusive to Oil Investing News

Oil prices experienced a roller coaster ride over the past week as traders reacted to a mixed outlook for the global economy, and futures were impacted by Middle Eastern supply concerns.

Brent crude futures fell by $4 a barrel on Thursday following a report that the US and Britain had agreed to supply the market with crude reserves. The report was later denied.

The White House confirmed that the issue was discussed by US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, but underlined that there was never any agreement drawn up.

Markets also reacted to investor concerns about Middle East supply disruptions and a surge in US crude oil stockpiles.

“Market participants have a difficult task on their hands trying to balance significant risks to future supplies with a fairly downbeat demand growth outlook for the year,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at Russian financial group VTB Capital.

Continued tensions between crude producer Iran and the West remained a key concern for traders last week. Over the past few months, the US and the European Union (EU) have ramped up economic sanctions on Iran in a bid to force it to suspend uranium enrichment.

By early Monday, North Sea crude for delivery in May stood at $125.71 a barrel compared with $125.95 for the expired April contract the previous week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April closed up $1.03 from Friday’s close to of$108.09.

 

Securities Disclosure: I, Adam Currie, do not hold equity interests in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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