Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it would cut its crude oil supplies to Asian buyers in July pushed prices up today. Brent crude futures rose to $48.78 a barrel or 63 cents, having reached a session high of $49.15 earlier in the day.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures reached a peak of $46.69 before steadying at $46.44.
Traders and analysts said the gains looked technical in nature, after WTI rallied and encouraged a similar move in the Brent market. But they said the move might prove fleeting.
Brent crude for August delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 82 cents to $48.97 a barrel. The global benchmark sank to $47.40 in the prior session, a level not seen since May 5.
Some experts believe that the prices are low and probably headed lower because fundamentals have no positive outlook. They forecast that when prices reach $40 range, it would be the point when OPEC will decide whether it wants to defend it again or not.
Natural gas future start the week on a high after the latest weather reports called for warmer temperatures over the next two weeks,
raising expectation that the demand for cooling would increase during this period.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on spring heating demand.
Gold prices fell for a third consecutive day as US Treasury bond yields rose, undermining the appeal of non-interest-bearing assets.
The move may have reflected pre-positioning ahead of this week’s FOMC monetary policy announcement, which is widely expected to produce a rate hike. Indeed, the priced-in 2017 rate hike path implied in Fed Funds futures now stands at the steepest in a month, Ilya Spiak, a senior currency strategy at DailyFX has said.