This morning, the price of crude oil showed a negative correction. The main news played by market participants was the decision of the PRC authorities to refrain from setting benchmarks for economic growth this year. This step made investors think that under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for hydrocarbons will be quite low among the world’s second-largest consumer of oil.
Thus, futures of Brent crude on the London Stock Exchange fell immediately this morning by 6.02%, which is about 2.14 dollars lower and reached the level of 33.89 dollars per barrel. Yesterday’s trading reflected the growth of futures for delivery in July by 0.9% (or 0.31 dollars), they stopped at 36.09 dollars per barrel, which is the highest value since mid-March.
Futures prices for WTI crude oil at auction in New York fell even further by 7.43%, or 2.52 dollars, which pushed them to the line of 31.4 dollars per barrel. Thursday’s trading, on the contrary, went up with the closing price at 1.3%, equivalent to $ 0.43, which sent them to the level of $ 33.92 per barrel.
In general, the current month was very successful for WTI crude oil, it was able to make a tremendous rise of 80%. Brent crude oil was also in a big plus with an increase of 43%. The main factors of growth were increased demand, opportunities for economic recovery at a faster pace, and a decrease in oil production in OPEC countries.
Analysts argue that the rejection of benchmarks in the Chinese economy is a signal that attention to investment in infrastructure will decrease, and this, in turn, is nothing more than a negative indicator for black gold. In general, this news indicates that the state cannot yet fully assess the consequences of the influence of some external factors on the economy. The main factor, of course, is the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, China is no longer the driving force behind the global economy and is becoming an observer.
Moreover, the growing tension between the two economic giants – the United States and China – is forcing the latter to decide on its own defense. China intends to sign laws that are designed to guard the national security of Hong Kong. And this doesn’t favor the US, which also affected oil quotes.
The US authorities, however, also did not lose time in vain and finally submitted a document that describes all the sanctions against Chinese officials and organizations, which should monitor the implementation of national security legislation in Hong Kong. According to this bill, a fine will be obtained for working with these organizations.
Thus, today’s trends are associated with geopolitical issues, which are accompanied by an increase in demand for crude oil, as well as a decrease in refining in countries that are leading oil producers.
Recall that yesterday, oil recorded the highest value over the past six weeks. However, today it became clear that the negative in the economy has put so much pressure, which nevertheless forced prices to move down.
Most experts believe that the tension between the US and China severely limits the movement of WTI oil and makes it a victim in this war.
In the event of continuous conflict, exacerbated by new details, which, for example, include the introduction of reciprocal duties, then the hope of a quick recovery in the global economy will melt. And if the escalation of tension becomes an occasion for a complete rejection of economic relations in these countries, the situation will become a stalemate. Of course, such risks cannot but have a serious impact on oil market participants who, on the eve of the weekend, prefer to limit their deals.