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Oil Extends Gains as Iran's Seizure of Tanker Keeps Ten...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Oil Extends Gains as Iran’s Seizure of Tanker Keeps Tension High

An Iranian Revolutionary Guard jet boat sails around the seized British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in Bandar Abbas, southern Iran, 21 July 2019. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Hasan Shirvani)
By Bloomberg
22 Jul 2019 0

Oil extended gains as tensions in the Persian Gulf remained elevated after Iran seized a British tanker, and Libyan production fell after an unidentified group reportedly shut the country’s largest field.

Oil futures in New York rose as much as 1.1% after closing up 0.6% on Friday. The U.K. demanded the immediate release of the Stena Impero, which was seized by the Islamic Republic in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, but Defense Minister Tobias Elwood said in a Sky News Interview that he wanted to de-escalate the situation. Production at Libya’s Sharara oil field was said to be gradually resuming after a force majeure was declared following the closure.
A measure of oil volatility rose to highest in two weeks on Friday

Oil volatility rose to a two-week high on Friday after the tanker seizure highlighted the risk of flows through the world’s most critical crude choke-point being disrupted. Meanwhile, falling production in Libya is now putting the spotlight back on supply threats after prices fell more than 8% in the four days through Thursday on signs of flagging demand in major global economies.

See also: How a Persian Gulf Conflict Could Impact Commodities Markets

“Crude has been weighed down by concerns that demand is slowing, but the focus is now shifting back to supply and geopolitical risks, which should support prices for the time being,” said Kim Kwangrae, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. in Seoul.

West Texas Intermediate for August delivery increased 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $56.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:14 a.m. in Singapore after gaining as much as 60 cents earlier. The contract fell 7.6% last week.

Brent for September settlement rose 85 cents, or 1.4%, to $63.32 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange. It closed 0.9% higher on Friday, paring the weekly loss to 6.4%. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $7.01 to WTI for the same month.

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