Oil clocks off 2% on India demand fret, weak Japan import data

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Oil clocks off 2% on India demand fret, weak Japan import data

On Friday, both US and UK crude oil futures’ prices were foundered from a six-week high as investors offloaded their buying positions following release of an utterly jejune Japanese crude import data, while a growing fret that soaring pandemic cases in India, the third-largest crude importer across the globe, would lead to a contentious demand outlook, weighed heavily on investors’ morale.

Nevertheless, with fuel demands seen mixed across the globe, both benchmarks had reported their biggest intra-session plunge in more than three weeks, but had clocked monthly percentage gains over 6 per cent alongside a weekly gain of roughly 2 per cent.

Apart from a weaker demand outlook in the world’s third- and fourth-largest crude importer, India and Japan respectively, amid stiffer pandemic-led restrictions, a weekend profit-taking wave appeared to be one of the stickiest issues the global crude oil market had to deal with on Friday, suggested analysts.

Nonetheless, an OPEC+ estimate of a demand-surge of up to 6 million bpd over the second half of the year alongside an upbeat demand forecast from leading US lender Goldman Sachs as well, had kept a lid on the losses.

Crude oil contracts pounded, but reports monthly gains

Citing statistics, in the day’s commodity market wind-down, Brent crude futures fell 1.9 per cent to $67.25 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures due to be expired on June jolted 2.2 per cent to settle down at $63.58 a barrel, however, UK and US crude oil contracts had secured a monthly gain of roughly 8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, On the week, UK crude contracts’ prices added 1.7 per cent, while US WTI crude futures gained 2.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, referring to the likelihoods of a worrisome pandemic-led demand-crunch, a senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, Phil Flynn said, “It was the end of the month so there was some profit-taking, but I think the biggest issues were the reports coming out of India concerning COVID”.