Crude futures fall as US recovery remains fragile

11 July 2013 15:03  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude oil futures weakened by more than $1.00/bbl on Thursday, with the fragile recovery in the US preventing the Federal Reserve from scaling back its asset purchase programme.

By 13:03 GMT, the front-month August NYMEX WTI contract had touched an intra-day low at $105.34/bbl, a loss of $1.18/bbl compared with the previous settlement. The contract then edged higher to trade around $105.65/bbl.

At the same time, the front-month August ICE Brent contract was trading around $108.35/bbl, having touched an intra-day low of $107.94/bbl, a loss of 57 cents/bbl compared with the close on Wednesday.

Crude futures were under pressure on Thursday after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed that it plans to scale back its asset purchase programme towards the end of the year and to close the policy by mid-2014.

The assurances by Bernanke could be seen as bullish, as the market would remain supported by the central bank, but the need for continued monetary easing reflects the fragility of the US recovery.

By: Kawai Wong
+44 20 8652 3214

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