Oil prices largely unchanged as market shrugs off Turkey coup bid

London (July 18)  Oil prices were largely unchanged on Monday as traders shrugged off the impact of the attempted coup in Turkey, while disruptions to crude exports in Libya and upbeat U.S. economic data lent prices some support.

Brent crude futures rose 2 cents to $47.63 a barrel by 0924 GMT, while U.S. crude futures eased by 4 cents to $45.91 a barrel.

"The market is looking past the coup," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at Sydney's CMC Markets.

Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait, a chokepoint for oil that handles about 3 percent of global shipments, mainly from Black Sea ports and the Caspian region, reopened on Saturday after closing for several hours after Friday's failed coup.

News that oil guards protesting over pay shut Libya's Hariga oil terminal on Sunday, delaying two crude shipments, dampened hopes the country could boost its output significantly any time soon.


"Libya remains a wild card in the global oil market balance," SEB chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said.

"This morning, however, an immediate revival in Libyan crude exports looks less daunting and might help to support crude prices slightly."

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Sunday the kingdom always reacts to oil market supply and demand and would continue to monitor crude markets for any developments.


The race among oil suppliers to meet the rise in demand for imports from China's independent refineries is heating up, with Iran supplying a 2-million-barrel cargo via trader Trafigura.

Buoyant economic data from the United States on Friday lent support to oil prices.

U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in June as Americans splurged on motor vehicles and other goods, while U.S. industrial production recorded its biggest increase in 11 months.


But a report by Morgan Stanley raised concerns about the longer-term outlook for oil consumption as demand for petrochemicals rather than fuels such as diesel and gasoline is clouding the outlook for crude demand.

"Fundamental headwinds are growing, supply-demand rebalancing is likely still a mid-2017 event, but tail risks are admittedly large in both directions, as geopolitics add to uncertainty," the report said.

"A rapid rise of non-petroleum products is boosting total product demand, but this is unhelpful for crude oil. Based on the latest data, even our tepid 800,000 barrels per day growth estimate for global crude runs looks too high."

Source: Reuters