Oil prices fell on Monday after a powerful North Korean nuclear test explosion triggered a flight of investors away from crude markets and into gold futures, which are seen as a safe haven.
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, had fallen by almost 1 per cent from their last close, or 41 cents, to $52.34 per barrel by 0655 GMT.
The drop came as traders were nervously eyeing developments in North Korea, where the military conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test over the weekend. Pyongyang said it had tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, prompting the threat of a “massive” military response from the United States if it or its allies were threatened.
That put downward pressure on crude as traders moved money out of oil — seen as high-risk markets — into gold futures, traditionally viewed as a safe haven for investors. Spot gold prices rose for a third day, gaining 0.9 per cent on Monday.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Clc1 crude futures were more stable, at $47.30 barrel, close to their last settlement.
Traders said that the more stable US crude prices were a result of production outages following Hurricane Harvey.
About 5.5 per cent of the US Gulf of Mexico’s oil production, or 96,000 barrels of daily output, remained shut on Sunday, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said. At the same time, refineries that use crude to make fuel were gradually starting up again, along with the pipelines transporting products. “Traders are hopeful that crude backlogs will be cleared,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA.
Oman Daily Observer
Short-term disruptions and lower exports from OPEC members offset signs of stronger US oil production to help give crude oil prices a lift early Tuesday.
Crude oil prices have been volatil
Iraq and some other oil producers taking part in global output cuts think they should reduce supply by an additional 1 percent to help re-balance the market, according to Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al
Oil prices traded close to five-month highs on Tuesday after fresh data showed key Middle Eastern producers continued to cut supply in line with an OPEC-led deal aimed at ending a crude glut.
Oil held gains near $50 a barrel before U.S. crude stockpile data as refiners delay scheduled maintenance after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast and shuttered almost a quarter of the nation’s refi
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent oil prices have increased to $50 and $55, respectively, and bullish oil signs continue to accumulate. Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) just announced