You are here

Oil rises 2% but traders brace for wild ride on US Election Day

nz_oilrefinery_041132.jpg
Oil prices rose near 2 per cent on Tuesday, advancing with other financial markets on US Election Day although traders were bracing for volatility depending on the voting results and as surging coronavirus cases around the world fed worries about fuel demand.

[NEW YORK] Oil prices rose near 2 per cent on Tuesday, advancing with other financial markets on US Election Day although traders were bracing for volatility depending on the voting results and as surging coronavirus cases around the world fed worries about fuel demand.

Brent futures rose 74 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to settle at US$39.71 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 85 cents, or 2.3 per cent, to settle at US$37.66.

The oil price moves came ahead of data expected to show US crude stockpiles rose 900,000 barrels last week after gaining 4.3 million barrels in the prior week.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, will release its inventory report later Tuesday, ahead of government data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

After a rancorous presidential campaign that exposed the depth of the political divisions in the United States, Americans streamed to the polls on Tuesday to choose either incumbent Donald Trump or challenger Joe Biden to lead a pandemic-battered nation for the next four years.

Your feedback is important to us

Tell us what you think. Email us at btuserfeedback@sph.com.sg

"The election is dominating markets today. Crude oil is up ... The general feeling seems to be that the final outcome could come as early as tomorrow," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York, noting a Democratic sweep could lead to a super-sized stimulus package that would be positive for oil.

Major US stock market indices traded higher, with the S&P 500 up 1.8 per cent.

The US dollar, meanwhile, dipped 0.6 per cent against a basket of currencies as risk appetite grew on bets that Biden will win.

A weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for holders of other currencies, which traders said was helping to boost crude prices.

The threat of additional lockdowns that could depress energy demand capped oil price gains after Italy, Norway and Hungary tightened Covid-19 restrictions.

Oil prices, which dropped over 10 per cent last week, got a reprieve this week after Opec member Algeria came out in support of deferring a planned increase in Opec+ oil output from January and Russia's energy minister raised the possibility with the country's oil companies.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and allies led by Russia, together known as Opec+, are due to taper cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by around 2 million bpd from January.

Sources said Opec and Russia are considering deeper oil output cuts early next year to try to strengthen the oil market.

REUTERS

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to t.me/BizTimes