Crude down on stronger dollar, economic concerns

06 March 2012 12:18  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures weakened on Tuesday, with ICE Brent falling by more than $1/bbl at one stage, undermined by a stronger US dollar and concerns over the strength of the global economy.

However, Iran supply worries again limited downside pressure.

At 11:21 GMT, April Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $123.27/bbl, down 53 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark fell to a session low of $122.75/bbl, down by $1.05/bbl.

April NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $106.04/bbl, down 68 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark fell to a session low of $105.81/bbl, down by 91 cents/bbl from the previous close.

The US dollar strengthened against the euro and other leading currencies, making dollar-denominated commodities such as crude less attractive to international investors.

Concerns over the health of the global economy and the resultant impact on oil demand were heightened after China announced on Monday that it had revised its growth forecast for 2012 downward to 7.5%. China had set its growth forecast at 8% in previous years.

Traders now await the release of weekly US inventory data from industry body the American Petroleum Institute, which is due later on Tuesday. Analysts have forecast a build in US crude stocks, but a drawdown in gasoline and distillate inventories.

Although crude has moved off recent 11-month highs, supply worries generated by ongoing tensions between the West and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear programme continued to limit downside pressure.

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4359

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