Oil Up 6pc Ending Six-session Losing Streak

TOKYO/SINGAPORE - Oil leapt 6 per cent to over $43 on Monday, reversing a share of last week’s near-record decline as Asian stock markets rose and Saudi Arabia cut January oil supplies a bit more deeply for a few Asian refiners.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 10 Dec 2008, 12:02 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:08 PM

News of the world’s biggest exporter tightening supplies even ahead of Opec’s meeting next week helped oil end a six-session losing streak, but failed to fully counter the growing sense of economic gloom and demand despair that led to a one-quarter fall in prices last week, the biggest weekly drop in nearly 18 years.

US crude for January delivery rose $2.55 to $43.36 a barrel by 0634GMT after dropping on Friday by over 6 per cent to close at a two-year low of $40.81.

London Brent crude rose $2.51 to $42.25 a barrel.

Friday’s steep losses came after a US report showed the heaviest job losses in 34 years in the world’s top energy consumer, adding to concerns that we have not yet seen the full extent of the damage being wrought on the economy.

“People are now buying back short positions after the rebound in US equities last Friday,” said Tetsu Emori, a commodities fund manager at Japan’s Astmax Co. Ltd.

In the week to December 2, just as prices had begun the latest leg down, crude oil market speculators pared their tiny net long positions marginally, data showed on Friday.

“We are also looking at the relief plan for the auto makers, that will be quite important,” said Emori.

White House and congressional negotiators worked on Sunday to iron out remaining differences over an emergency rescue for the struggling auto industry in a move that Emori said should provide a sentiment boost for financial markets.

Monday’s rally spanned the commodities complex after the Reuters-Jefferies CRB index of 19 commodities plunged 14 per cent last week, its biggest ever weekly decline.

Demand Ails

Just five months after oil hit a high of over $147, analysts are now slashing their price and demand forecasts for fear that a spreading recession will trigger a deep drop in consumption.

Merrill Lynch said oil could drop to $25 a barrel if the global recession extends to China, while the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for average annual oil demand growth to 2013 to 1.2 per cent from 1.6 per cent.

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