12 April 2013 16:32 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Crude oil futures continued to lose ground late on Friday pressured by falling stock markets and weaker oil demand.
By 15:09 GMT, the front-month May ICE Brent contract had touched an intra-day low at $101.09/bbl – a loss of $3.18/bbl compared with the settlement on Thursday. The contract then edged higher to trade around $101.10/bbl.
At the same time the front-month May NYMEX WTI contract was trading around $90.35/bbl, having touched an intra-day low at $90.27/bbl – a loss of $3.24/bbl against Thursday’s settlement.
Most stock markets in the west were trading at weaker levels compared with Thursday’s settlements, mirroring stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region, which mostly settled in negative territory on Friday. The Shanghai Index closed 0.58% lower, Japan’s Nikkei 225 settled 0.47% lower while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.06%.
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.
Cyprus is planning on selling some of its gold reserve to help fund part of the €13bn needed.
Germany’s Commerzbank also cut its 2013 and 2014 crude oil price forecasts on Friday, as the bank predicted weak oil demand – backing up 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.
($1 = €0.76)
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