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Oil rebounds from 6-year low as volatility gains amid yuan drop

12 August 2015 14:00 (UTC+04:00)
Oil rebounds from 6-year low as volatility gains amid yuan drop

By Bloomberg

Oil rebounded from the lowest close in six years as trading volatility advanced to the highest in a month amid China’s devaluation of its currency.

Futures rose as much as 1.4 percent in New York after sliding 4.2 percent in the previous session. Prices dropped earlier after China devalued its currency a second day, cutting the yuan’s daily reference rate by 1.6 percent, making commodity imports priced in the U.S. currency less attractive. A measure of price fluctuations rose Tuesday to the highest level since July 8, while a recovery in Iranian output increased OPEC production to the most in three years.

Oil has swung between gains and losses this week on mixed signals from China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer. The nation’s record-high imports in July boosted speculation that sustained buying may alleviate a global glut, while further devaluation of its currency on Wednesday raised concern that its economy and demand are slowing.

“They are doing this to try and stimulate,” David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone, referring to China’s devaluation of the yuan. “It’s an indication that China is still slowing and a slowing China may mean weaker demand for crude. Prices will probably still drift lower as long as the scenario of adequate supply and questionable demand growth persists.”

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery rose as much as 62 cents to $43.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $43.40 at 4:13 p.m. Singapore time. The contract slid $1.88 to $43.08 on Tuesday, the lowest close since March 2009. Prices have decreased 18.5 percent this year.


Oil Volatility


Brent for September settlement was 32 cents higher at $49.50 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract lost $1.23 to $49.18 on Tuesday. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.07 to WTI.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Crude Oil Volatility Index closed at 42.16 on Tuesday. The gauge of hedging costs on the U.S. Oil Fund, the largest exchange-traded fund tracking WTI futures, rose 6.1 percent last week.

Oil has dropped about 30 percent since this year’s peak closing price in June amid speculation the global surplus that drove prices into a bear market will persist. While U.S. crude stockpiles are forecast to decline a third week through Aug. 7, supplies remain more than 90 million barrels above the five-year average for this time of the year.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised output by 100,700 barrels a day to 31.5 million last month, the group said in its monthly market report, citing external sources. Saudi Arabia told OPEC it cut production by the most in almost a year. Iran increased output by 32,300 barrels a day in July to 2.86 million a day, the highest since June 2012.

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