The price of the front-month contract on Brent (ICE) increased in the sixth consecutive session on Wednesday and settled above 105 USD per barrel (USD/bbl) level for the first time since late May 2012.
Meanwhile, backwardaton in the short-end of ICE forward curve slightly deepened.
Regarding the data on US oil stockpiles, an unexpected drop in gasoline stocks overshadowed lower than expected decrease in crude inventories and the overall message was thus rather bullish. At the same time, the report pointed out to counterseasonal decrease in US oil consumption.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta responded to Iran’s threats as he said that the United States has the military capacity to keep Straits of Hormuz open for oil shipping. As we already pointed out, we believe that the possibility of armed conflict in Persian Gulf is unlikely and should have a low impact on the price of oil.
Today in early trading, gold erases yesterday’s losses and returned to 1580 USD per troy ounce (USD/toz) level. Asian buying of the metal remains, according to Reuters, rather weak - Indian demand over the summer is seasonally low and might pick up in August when the festival season starts.