Oil slips as strong dollar pressures; equities gains support

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices edged lower on Tuesday, weighed down by a strengthening U.S. dollar as investors remained concerned about the financial crisis in Turkey.

FILE PHOTO: General view of Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia May 21, 2018. Picture taken May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Brent crude LCOc1 dipped 15 cents to settle at $72.46 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures fell 16 cents to close at $67.04 a barrel.

Oil rebounded early from the previous session’s slide, supported by gains in equity markets, but pared gains at mid-day as the U.S. dollar index touched its highest since late June 2017. A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

“Usually when the dollar starts making highs, it’s probably a sign that we’re still concerned about the Turkish situation,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “There’s still a bit of nervousness on the global stage.”

U.S. stock indexes broadly gained and Turkey’s lira recovered, a day after crashing to an all-time low against the dollar, feeding worries that the country’s crisis might spread to other emerging markets. TRYTOM=D3.

“The equities and the U.S. dollar are keying primarily off of the unfolding saga in Turkey and although the lira has posted a significant rebound today, the standoff between Turkey and the U.S. is showing no sign of progress,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.

FILE PHOTO: A drilling oil rig is seen at sunrise near Midland, Texas, U.S., May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo

“Consequently, worries over contagion are apt to increase in the process of reducing risk appetite and renewing downside pressures on oil pricing.”

Oil’s losses were capped by concerns over lower global crude supply from top producers. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Monday that Saudi Arabia had cut production. Export declines from Iran also are expected as Washington re-imposes sanctions.

But OPEC expects oil supply by countries outside the cartel to increase by 2.13 million bpd next year, 30,000 bpd more than forecast last month, boosted by new U.S. shale production.

Market participants awaited industry data on Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that analysts expect will show U.S. crude and gasoline inventories fell last week. The data is to be released at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).

“We do have a tighter fundamental picture right now than we had a year ago,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “You continue to see signs that demand is pretty robust.”

However, some analysts say trade disputes between the United States and China and turmoil in emerging markets could curb energy demand.

China’s economy is showing signs of cooling with investment in the first seven months of the year slowing and retail sales softening, data showed.

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