12 April 2013 12:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Crude oil futures weakened by more than $1.00/bbl on Friday as stock markets fell around the globe and plummeting oil demand growth weighed on prices.
By 10:00 GMT, the front-month May ICE Brent contract had touched an intra-day low at $102.77/bbl – a loss of $1.50/bbl compared to the settlement on Thursday. The contract then edged higher to trade around $103.05/bbl.
At the same time the front-month May NYMEX WTI contract was trading around $92.50/bbl, having touched an intra-day low at $92.25/bbl – a loss of $1.26/bbl against Thursday’s settlement.
Most stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region were trading at weaker levels on Friday, including Japan’s Nikkei 225 – despite the Bank of Japan starting a new round of quantitative easing.
This bearish sentiment has also spread to Europe, where the FTSE100, France’s CAC 40, Germany’s DAX and others were trading at values below Thursday’s settlements.
The bailout for Cyprus has also become more costly, as the country now requires a total of €23bn ($30bn). Cyprus itself needs to find around €13bn in order to secure €10bn of external funding.
Germany’s Commerzbank also cut its 2013 and 2014 crude oil price forecasts on Friday, as the bank predicted weak oil demand – which mirrors reports from the International Energy Agency and OPEC, which also slashed their oil demand growth forecasts this week.
Aside from the weakening demand-side fundamentals, stock levels in the US – the world’s largest consumer of crude oil – increased to their highest level since July 1990, according to a report issued by the US Energy Information Administration on 10 April.
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