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Crude oil futures extend uptrend on tightening supply outlook

Crude oil futures extended an uptrend into mid-morning trade in Asia Oct. 11 on a tightening supply outlook, and as a weaker-than-expected US jobs report creates a potential headwind to a recent hawkish change in US Federal Reserve monetary policy.

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At 10:25 am Singapore time (0225 GMT), the ICE December Brent futures contract was up 78 cents/b (0.95%) from the previous close at $83.17/b, while the NYMEX November light sweet crude contract was $1.18/b (1.49%) higher at $80.53/b.

"WTI crude futures topped $80/b [Oct. 8] for the first time since November 2014 amid a global energy crisis while OPEC+ producers kept to their supply discipline," UOB market research analysts said in a note Oct. 11.

ANZ research analysts said in a note Oct. 11: "Crude oil gained amid a broader rally in the energy sector as fears of strong demand and supply shortage continue to grip the market. Saudi Aramco warned that high natural gas prices are already boosting oil demand for power generation and heating."

US non-farm payrolls rose 194,000 jobs in September, easing from a 366,000 increase in August, US Department of Labor data released Oct. 8 showed, and well below market expectations of a 500,000 increase.

Oil futures paradoxically moved higher following the report, as the weak growth may add headwinds to a recent hawkish pivot in US Federal Reserve monetary policy, analysts said.

"The jobs report came in well below expectations, questioning the timing of a well-telegraphed November taper, as well easing some enthusiasm about Fed hikes in 2022," TD Securities analysts said in a note.

"Energy markets are solidifying at the upper end of recent trading ranges as the fear factor and right tail risks become more embedded heading into the winter months that could exacerbate the energy crisis in Europe and Asia," the TD Securities analysts added.

OCBC Treasury Research said in a note that crude oil was undeterred by the seemingly poor US non-farm payrolls numbers, and noted that Brent had closed above $80/b for a week and may remain above that support level for the time being.