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Crude oil futures extend gains as recession fears ease; outlook remains bullish

Highlights

Oil prices rally after $8/b tumble

Recession fears ease as near-term outlook remains bullish

  • Author
  • Andrew Toh
  • Editor
  • Norazlina Jumaat
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas Oil

Crude oil futures were higher in mid-morning trade in Asia June 21, extending overnight gains as recessionary fears that plagued markets in recent weeks receded and investors returned focus to bullish near-term fundamentals.

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At 10:33 am Singapore time (0233 GMT), the ICE August Brent futures contract was up $1.48/b (1.3%) from the previous close at $115.61/b, while the NYMEX July light sweet crude contract rose $2.45/b (2.24%) from the June 17 close at $112.01/b.

US markets were closed June 20 for the Juneteenth holiday.

Recession fears that earlier sent crude prices tumbling by more than $8/b appeared to have receded, with investors now returning to buy the dip, analysts said.

While financial markets remained vulnerable to further declines as central banks worldwide move to raise borrowing costs, oil fundamentals in the near-term were supportive.

"After getting hammered into the US long weekend due to recession and fuel demand destruction concerns, oil prices are rallying again," SPI Asset Management's managing partner Stephen Innes said in a June 21 note. "Those global economic worries are seemingly offset by prospects for higher US and China demand in the near term amid tight prompt supplies."

Tightness in refined product supplies remained a concern. Cash differentials for Northwest European and Mediterranean gasoil cargoes hit record highs late last week.

Meanwhile, stocks of diesel and gasoil in the Northwest European Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub fell 3.15% on the week to 1.41 million mt in the seven days to June 16, according to Insights Global data on June 17. Stocks were now 41% lower than a year earlier.

European markets were in the midst of a severe gas shortage after Russia cut deliveries to the region, with some of the bullishness expected to spill over into oil.

The Netherlands government June 20 triggered the country's gas crisis plan, which contains measures the country can take if there is a threat of a shortage of gas. The Danish government implemented a similar plan June 20.

Germany, meanwhile, is advancing plans to reduce gas demand this summer in power generation and industry to boost storage for winter, the energy ministry said June 19.

"Disrupted flows will be a concern, given that Europe is in injection season, and will be trying to hit its target of having storage 80% full by 1 November," ING analysts Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao said. "If these reduced flows persist, this target may be difficult to achieve."

Dubai crude swaps were higher in mid-morning trade in Asia June 21 from the previous close, though intermonth spreads were mixed.

The August Dubai swap was pegged at $104.54/b at 10 am Singapore time (0200 GMT), up $3.18/b (3.14%) from the June 20 Asian market close.

The July-August Dubai swap intermonth spread was pegged at $3.47/b at 10 am, down 4 cents/b over the same period, and the August-September intermonth spread was pegged at $2.44/b, up 6 cents/b.

The August Brent-Dubai EFS was pegged at $11.27/b, up 29 cents/b.