Crude oil remains in its recent range trading at 94.72 adding 12 cents this morning after strong US data at the end of the week, helped increase the demand for oil by the world’s largest consumer. This was compounded by strong trade numbers and industrial production from China also increasing demands. China’s implied oil demand inched up 0.3 percent in October from a year earlier, after dipping the previous month in the first yearly decline in 17 months, as refineries pumped more with the economy showing stronger signs of stabilizing. Traders are now looking for a stronger global recovery than previously expected. Brent oil climbed to 105.46 adding 42 cents after the Iranian diplomatic talks ended without results. There remain some sticking points, but the talks have not ended and continue moving forward. There had been rumors that a deal could have been struck over the weekend, which would have weighed heavily on oil prices as an easing of the oil embargo would have increased supply tremendously. Crude oil prices rose on Friday as strong US job market growth improved the demand outlook for oil and supported prices. Iran and the six western nations failed to reach an agreement on curbs to Iran’s nuclear program on an initial proposal to ease international sanctions against Iran in return for restraints on its uranium enrichment program. Further talks are likely to resume on November 20th.
Saudi Arabia, world’s top oil exporter has cut output to 9.75 million bpd from 10.1 million bpd. Kuwait’s oil minister said on Saturday he expected OPEC to keep its crude oil output target unchanged at its next meeting. Tensions in Libya have shown no signs of easing and output continues to remain at extremely low levels. An autonomy movement in eastern Libya said on Sunday it had formed a regional oil firm to start selling crude after seizing several ports, mounting a challenge to the government in Tripoli as it struggles to gain control of oil facilities. Crude oil prices are likely to move up this week as a lack of agreement between Iran and western nations and reduced output from OPEC region can support prices.
Natural gas climbed by 24 points this morning as colder temperatures across the US are helping to increase residential demand. Natural gas is trading at 3.578 but still has a negative bias between seasons. Although natural gas remains the darling of the energy markets, it will be years before demand reaches supply as new projects continue to emerge. Natural gas ended higher for a fourth straight day on Friday, backed by chilly weather forecasts for the eastern half of the country over the next 10 days that should force more homeowners and businesses to turn up their heaters. Average electric demand in New England is expected to remain flat over the next 10 years due to increased use of energy efficiency programs, the power grid operator for the six-state region said on Friday. The New England region is one of the largest consumers of natural gas for heating.