Oil Prices Daily Outlook August 1

Crude oil prices finished July with falls and they have also started August with moderate falls. The debt ceiling talks have concludes with the debt limit rising to $16.4 trillion. This news might bring back some stability to the market.  Today, the U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI report will be published. 

Here’s a short analysis and outlook of the crude oil market for today, August 1st:

Crude oil prices – July & August

On Friday, July 29th crude oil price (WTI) declined by 1.79% to $95.70/b; during July WTI spot oil inclined by 0.42%.

Brent oil price also fell by 0.28% to $116.81/b; during July Brent oil inclined by 4.57%.

The chart below presents the normalized prices of WTI spot oil and Brent oil during July (June 30th=100). It shows the small changes these energy commodities had during the last couple weeks of July.

Crude spot oil prices 2011 Brent oil and WTI spot oil  2011 August 1

Premium of Brent oil over WTI spot oil

The premium of Brent oil over WTI spot oil finished July on a high note as it inclined on Friday July 29th to $21.11/b; during July this premium rose by 28.64%, mainly because Brent oil price outperformed WTI spot oil price at the first week of July.

Difference between Brent and WTI crude spot oil price 2011 August 1

 US debt ceiling 

By the end of the weekend, the Democrats and Republicans have agreed to raise the US debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion, and thus the imminent default of the US economy was averted. The financial market has soon reacted to the news as the US dollar appreciated against major currencies, while crude oil prices declined (see below).

US dollar / Crude oil prices – July update

On Friday, Euro to US dollar exchange rate inclined by 0.45%; this might have been due, in part, to the disappointing US GDP growth rate in the second quarter of 2011 of 1.3%.   The US dollar to Canadian dollar inclined by 0.62%. On the other hand, the Australian dollar to US dollar fell by 0.09%; this means that US dollar moderately depreciated against most major currencies such as Euro and CAD.  The U.S. debt ceiling news might shift this direction and bump the US dollar up again and if so it might drag up crude oil prices.

 US ISM Manufacturing PMI

This report will indicate the monthly change in manufacturing sector on a national level. During June ISM Manufacturing PMI inclined to 55.3% an increase of 1.8 percent points compared to the previous month’s index; if this index will continue to be robust and incline, it may further strengthen the US dollar and consequently affect crude oil prices.

 Crude oil market news

Here are several news items that are related to the crude oil market:

  •  The oil production at the Gulf of Mexico rises after the tropical storms have subsided;
  • Soaring profits for European oil giants during second quarter of 2011 raises questions;
  • Libyan rebels gained heavy artillery in the battle of Misrata;
  • China’s manufacturing growth rate exceeded expectations, as the manufacturing PMI reached 50.7 in July compared with 50.9 in June; economists expected that the high interest rates in China and the increase in credit limits should have slowed down the economic growth of China.

Current crude oil prices

Major crude oil prices are currently traded down in the U.S. market:

The Nymex crude oil price, short term futures (September 2011 delivery) is traded at $94.11 / barrel, a $1.59/b decrease or 1.66%, as of 16:58*.

The Dated Brent spot oil price declines by $1.3/b to $115.51/ barrel as of 17:09*.

(* GMT)

Thus, the current premium of Brent over WTI is at $21.4/b.

 Crude oil price outlook and analysis:

Crude oil prices started August with moderate falls, after they had ended last week the same way. This recent downward trend might be related to the regained stability in the financial markets due to the upcoming closure of the debt ceiling issue; in the short term, however crude oil price are likely to remain near $97-$100 for WTI spot oil and $117-$118 for Brent oil and they might even start to slowly rise again during the week.  

 Here is a reminder of the top events and reports that are planed for today and tomorrow (all times GMT):


15.00 – U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI


2:30 – Australian trade of Balance

5:30 – Reserve Bank of Australia – rate decisions statement


 For further reading:


Lior Cohen, M.A. commodities analyst and blogger at Trading NRG.