On Thursday, the price of oil breached back above 200 days average and settled at 109.21 USD per barrel (USD/bbl). However, in comparison with the previous weeks, the price of oil is seen significantly lower as tensions in the Middle East eased and tightness in the North Sea market has abated due to partial return of Libyan oil and lower demand for oil from European refineries (margins remain low and some refineries are offline due to seasonal maintenance, although their portion has so far been a bit lower than is common in this part of the year).
On the other hand, indications that several cargoes of North Sea oil may leave for Asia this autumn may add some pressure on the front-end of the forward curve.
Base metals prices grew across the board on Thursday. Aluminium performed exceptionally well – three month contract (LME) gained one percent and the price even approached resistances at 1826 and 1830 USD per ton respectively. In the afternoon, US initial claims report supported risk appetite. Initial claims fell from an upwardly revised 310k to 305k, while a substantial increase to 325k was expected. Excluding the September 7 week, when claims were distorted by technical issues, initial jobless claims are now at their lowest level since May 2007.