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Oil still unstable with continuous second wave fears

LONDON, May 15, 2020 – Oil was mixed on Friday morning in Asia, giving up some of its gains from the previous session.

Brent oil futures dropped 0.29% to $31.30 by 9:35 PM ET (2:35 AM GMT) and WTI futures clawed back its earlier losses to gain 0.15% to $27.60.

WTI futures surged 8.98% and Brent oil futures gained 6.65% during the last session.

Investors were skittish as the US Labor Department said overnight that 2.98 million Americans claimed unemployment benefits for the week ended May 9, down from the previous week’s 3.18 figure and the sixth straight reported weekly drop.

Over 36 million Americans have lost their jobs since the end of March.

 

“Gasoline demand correlates pretty well with the employment level, and it’s hard to see gasoline demand come back much more than it already has,” John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC, told CNBC.

The black liquid continues to wrestle with its oversupply dilemma as countries such as China, Korea and Hong Kong see a second wave of Covid-19 cases, threatening to send demand down again while storage tanks fill up.

OPEC said on Wednesday it expected global oil demand to shrink by 9.07 million bpd in 2020, with the current quarter expected to see the steepest decline.

But despite the production cuts pledged by OPEC+, some American companies and a small group of countries led by Saudi Arabia, some investors worry that it will not be enough.

“While these supply and demand dynamics are certainly capable of boosting prices near term, a potential record level of global crude supply will remain as a force to be reckoned with,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a report.

Meanwhile, the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission sounded a warning to exchanges and brokerages on Thursday to prepare for volatility and possible negative pricing as the WTI futures June contract expires on May 19.

By Investing.com: https://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/oilmixed-againwithcontinuoussecond-wavefears-2173004

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