On Monday, Brent posted the largest losses since mid January and settled at 115.60 USD per barrel (USD/bbl). The price was undermined by a fresh wave of political uncertainty coming from Italy and Spain; in Spain the opposition called for PM Rajoy to resign while in Italy the polls showed growing support for the former Prime Minister Berlusconi. Both events provided a good excuse for profit taking on the long standing risk rally.
Meanwhile the North Sea crude market showed some signs of tightening, but overall situation remains significantly calmer in comparison with mid January. Regarding the freshly released crude loading programs for March, it showed month-on-month decline by about 12 percent. Apart from the maintenance at Buzzard field, the M/M decline was emphasized by higher than originally expected oil loadings in February.
Base metals settled barely changed yesterday. Aluminium (LME 3M) underperformed its peers and failed to settle above resistance at 2125 USD per ton. Meanwhile, three-month contract on copper hit a four-month high in intraday trading but eventually slipped below 8300 USD/t level.