Oil Inches Lower Amid Saudi Minister Comments
Published Monday, 14 May 2012 10:59 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Crude-oil futures moved lower during Asian trading hours Monday, with comments from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister and concerns about Europe’s debt crisis helping to weigh on the commodity.
Benchmark U.S. crude futures for June delivery CLM2 -1.69% dropped 42 cents or 0.4% to $95.71 a barrel, down from Friday’s settlement of $96.13 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Friday close was already the lowest of the year, weighed by demand concerns and weak economic data out of China last week.
Monday’s drop followed the latest remarks on crude prices from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi, who said European benchmark Brent crude should trade at $100 a barrel.
On Monday, the Brent crude July contract (UK:LCON2) -1.24% dropped to $111.30, down from Friday’s ICE settlement of $111.77.
Speaking in Adelaide, Australia, al-Naimi also said that global crude-oil stocks would likely rise in anticipation of high seasonal demand, starting in July.
The apparent failure of multi-party talks in Greece to form a coalition government that can shepherd the nation through austerity measures required for Greek bailout payments also raised concerns of further turmoil in Europe.
Further headwinds for crude came from a rising U.S. dollar, with the ICE dollar index DXY +0.26% climbing to 80.439, up from 80.296 in late North American trade Friday.
Among other energy futures, June heating oil HOM2 -1.09% lost 0.4% to $2.95 a gallon, June gasoline RBM2 -0.82% was little changed at $3.00 a gallon, and June natural gas NGM12 +0.24% was also flat at $2.51 per million British thermal units.