Crude clung to losses amid a combination of weak economic data and signals that a recovery in consumption might be slowing.
Futures posted a 0.4 percent decline in New York on Friday. Although strength in US equities pushed oil up from the lows of the session, futures were unable to rally amid a flurry of disappointing data points.
In the US, consumer sentiment posted a surprise drop. COVID-19 cases in the country have passed the 3.7 million mark.
Meanwhile in India, road fuel sales fell in the first half of July as virus lockdowns occurred in several cities, and the Chinese city of Urumqi locked down some areas amid fears of another outbreak in the country.
The global benchmark Brent crude dropped 0.53 percent to US$43.14 a barrel, and posting its first weekly decline in a month, falling 0.23 percent over the week.
“Consumer confidence, with its big miss today, weighed on the earlier optimism that we saw,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc. “There’s a concern that, after the stimulus checks run out, there’s going to be a pullback in retail sales and definitely a pullback in travel by car if people are not going to be working.”
US benchmark crude futures are having trouble breaking out of the tight trading range they have been in since early last month. Major gasoline-guzzling states such as Texas and California are facing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, squashing demand, while the OPEC+ alliance is preparing to unleash crude oil back into the market next month.
The 200-day moving average for West Texas intermediate (WTI) futures around US$43 a barrel “is keeping a lid on prices from surging higher,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC. “If we can get through that, then you might see some fireworks, some more aggressive buying coming in, but for now it’s sort of a wait-and-see.”
WTI for July delivery dropped 0.39 percent to US$40.59 a barrel, gaining 0.1 percent for the week.
With prices treading water, there has been little to get excited about for traders. Volumes on the global Brent benchmark in July are heading for their lowest month since 2014, while those for WTI are set for their quietest month since 2015.
“There’s some trepidation on people’s part between the resurgence of the virus around the world limiting people heading back to work and the anticipation of OPEC increasing production,” said Sal Gilbertie, president and chief investment officer of Teucrium Trading LLC.
Additional reporting by staff writer
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US