Oil prices are expected to remain pressured in the week to Aug. 12 as the demand outlook has grown more uncertain after a strong US jobs report late Aug. 5 dispelled fears of a recession while also reinforcing the case for further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
The front-month ICE October Brent crude futures stood at $94.66/b at 0220 GMT Aug. 8, down 26 cents/b (0.27%) from the Aug. 5 settlement.
Middle East crude
** More official selling prices are expected in the week from producers Qatar Energy and Iraq's SOMO.
** Market participants were also awaiting the issuance of term allocations from Saudi Aramco. Despite the hikes in OSPs for September, it is expected that buyers could still seek full term volumes though incremental barrel requests are unlikely.
** Demand for Murban crude will be watched this month as values continue to edge lower while flows of similar grades like WTI Midland could also become a viable option for Asian refiners.
** Dubai cash/futures (M1/M3) spread averaged $6.21/b in the week to Aug. 5, against $8.48/b in the week to July 29.
** Intermonth spreads were wider at midmorning trade Aug. 8 with October/November pegged at $1.47/b, up 4 cents/b from the Asia close Aug. 1.
** The October Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps was pegged at $6.82/b midmorning Aug 8, down 26 cents/b from the Asia close Aug. 5.
** The October-loading program for Australia's North West Shelf condensate is expected to emerge in the week. The sentiment could remain lukewarm amid sluggish naphtha and gasoline cracks.
** Across the light sweet crude complex, market participants await the October-loading programs for Australia's Ichthys Field Condensate, Cossack, and Papua New Guinea's Kutubu Blend.
** Market participants may see the October-loading program for Malaysia's flagship Kimanis crude later in the week, where cash differentials for the medium sweet grades in Southeast Asia could edge lower amid weakening middle distillate product cracks.
** Fresh tender activities from Vietnam's PetroVietnam Oil for October-loading barrels are awaited.
** On heavy sweet crudes, trading activities for Australian heavy sweet Van Gogh and Sudan/South Sudan's Dar Blend are expected to emerge in the week.
** Market participants also await Brunei's June OSP.
** More volumes of WTI Midland are expected to flow to Asia for November delivery amid US Strategic Petroleum Reserve release.
** The sentiment for Asia delivered barrels of Brazilian crude could remain dull amid thin trading activities.
** It will take more than one optimistic job report to overturn the bearishness that has gripped oil markets of late, analysts said. The increasingly bearish sentiment saw oil plunging $10/b over the week to Aug. 5, in what market watchers said was an overreaction to weak Purchasing Managers' Index figures from the US and China, as well as reports of falling US gasoline demand.
** In the prior week, international crude oil benchmarks were lower with the October contract for ICE Brent futures down 8.7% on the week at $94.92/b while the September contract for NYMEX light sweet crude was 9.7% lower at $89.01/b.