North Sea production issues and sell-off of the US dollar following poor ISM manufacturing data for May supported the oil price on Monday. Regarding the former, Nexen – an operator of the key North Sea Buzzard field – confirmed yesterday that the production over the weekend was “intermittent due to equipment failure”. Although a spokeswoman of the company said Nexen plans to restart production by middle of this week, both the price of the front-month contract (July settlement) and timespreads rose yesterday and demand for physical oil picked up (Reuters data showed the strongest Forties
differential against Dated Brent in about two weeks.
As for the latter, the headline index dropped from 50.7 to 49.0, while the consensus was looking for a slight pick-up to 51.0. This outcome suggests that the manufacturing sector continues to struggle, despite signs of improvement elsewhere. Quite surprisingly, the effect of weaker dollar overshadowed what was clearly bad news from demand perspective and the oil price eventually returned back above 102 USD per barrel.
Today in early trading, copper extends yesterday’s gains on news that the production of ore at Grasberg mine in Indonesia may be stopped even for three months due to investigation of series of accidents that happened over past few weeks. The three-month forward contract on copper gained 0.4 percent yesterday and at the time of writing of this note is seen even at 7400 USD per ton which is a seven-day high.