Brent edges up to $62.35 after earlier crash in volatile trade - CNBC Africa

Brent edges up to $62.35 after earlier crash in volatile trade


by Reuters 0

Oil markets saw volatile trading in Asia on Monday as Brent prices first fell to a 5-1/2 year low.

This was after the IEA cut its outlook and then rose on hopes of improving manufacturing data.

Brent futures fell to near 60 US dollars per barrel after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast further price falls and OPEC's chief on Sunday defended the group's decision not to cut its output target, and although prices picked up later in volatile trading on Monday, most analysts were cutting their outlooks.

"Oil prices may move below 60 US dollars per barrel in the near term," Barclays Bank said although it added that "this is not sustainable in the long run, as it would place considerable strain on the cost curve of the unconventional supply system required to meet demand requirements in 2016 and 2017."

Barclays said it therefore expected Brent to average 67 US dollars per barrel in the first half of 2015 and 78 US dollars in the second half.

Analysts said that oil markets were oversupplied as a result of rising output being met by cooling demand.

"Softer global demand, coupled with unprecedented growth in supply are weighing on global oil indices, with prices falling to levels not seen since the global financial crisis," National Australia Bank said on Monday.

National Australia Bank said it had cut its Brent forecast to an average $80 in the fourth quarter of 2014, 75 US dollars in the first quarter of 2015 and an average of 80 US dollars for all of next year.

Despite the weak outlook, oil prices recovered from their lows on Monday as some traders expected improving economic data to be published this week.

Brent for January delivery was at 62.35 US dollars a barrel at 0743 GMT, up half a dollar, but 60 cents below the intra-day high of 62.95 US dollars a barrel.

US crude for January delivery was trading at 58.25 a barrel, up 44 cents, after hitting a low of 56.25 US dollars earlier in the day - the lowest since May 2009.

"With preliminary manufacturing PMI scheduled to release this week, it may give some support to falling oil prices," said Singapore-based Phillip Futures.

"Expectations for this month's PMI are favourable, which should prevent a further drop for the week. Provided manufacturing PMI figures are favourable, we expect to see a slight recovery to 61.81 US dollars for WTI Feb '15 and 63.26 US dollars for Brent 15 February for this week," it added.