Brent crude falls on stronger US dollar, Spain worries

19 September 2012 13:36  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures fell on Wednesday with ICE Brent declining by more than $1/bbl as a stronger US dollar and renewed concerns over the Spanish economy offset gains from news of further Japanese monetary stimulus measures.

At 11:50 GMT, November Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $110.72/bbl, down by $1.31/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the North Sea benchmark fell to a session low of $110.42/bbl, down by $1.61/bbl.

October NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $94.62/bbl, down by 67 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark fell to a session low of $94.32/bbl, down by 97 cents/bbl.

The US dollar strengthened as investors moved out of euros amid concerns that Spain could request a bailout for its debt-ridden economy. According to data from the Bank of Spain, bad debts reached record levels in July at €169.1bn ($221bn), 9.9% of total loans held by Spanish banks.

Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria indicated on Tuesday that a bailout from the European Central Bank (ECB) was being considered. Nevertheless, a sale of 12- and 18-month bonds by Spain on Tuesday was successful, with loans raised at reduced interest rates. 

The stronger US dollar made dollar denominated commodities such as crude less attractive to overseas investors.

Earlier in the day crude values had been buoyed by news that the Bank of Japan had increased its bond buying programme by Yen (Y) 10,000bn ($127bn) in a move to stimulate growth in the Japanese economy.

($1 = €0.77)

($1 = Y78.84)

By: James Dennis
+65 6780 4327

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