Energy Correspondent, London
Claire's Feed
Nov 25, 2013

Betting on oil spreads: from money spinner to widow maker

LONDON/NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) – One of the most popular
trading bets in oil markets, based on attempts to predict price
differences between European and U.S. oil benchmarks, is proving
to be one of the trickiest as funds suffer losses after sky-high
gains earlier this year.

For a generation, European and U.S. oil price benchmarks
rose and fell more or less in tandem, with U.S. WTI crude
usually worth a few dollars more than London’s Brent.

Nov 15, 2013

Newcomers step up as oil majors ditch old North Sea fields

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Ageing North Sea fields are being
abandoned by oil majors and increasingly rely on national oil
companies (NOC) from countries such as China and large service
providers to keep the oil – and tax revenues – flowing.

In the past, the company that owned the asset operated it,
but as output from mature fields has dwindled and oil majors
such as BP and Shell have sold out to smaller
producers, traditional models have become less economic.

Nov 8, 2013

Investors shun commodity ETPs in October as dollar strengthens

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors pulled $2.76 billion from commodity exchange-traded products (ETPs) in October, diverting money into equities as a recovering U.S. economy boosted the dollar and created headwinds for commodity performance.

Broad commodity ETPs lost $561 million in October, according to global data from BlackRock, whilst equity ETPs attracted $35.9 billion, with strong contributions to U.S. equities, developed markets and emerging markets.

Nov 8, 2013

Banks, traders morph roles in commodity market rivalry

LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – A decades-old rivalry between
banks and trading houses in commodities markets is taking new
forms, as banks adjust to tighter regulations and merchant
traders mount increasingly sophisticated challenges.

Banks have long been the dominant players in hedging – when
commodities producers and consumers buy derivatives to help
offset potential sharp price swings.

Nov 6, 2013

NYMEX traders allege big firms manipulated Brent oil prices

LONDON (Reuters) – Four NYMEX traders have alleged that the North Sea Brent crude oil market has been manipulated by oil majors and trading houses since at least 2002, in a class action they brought in the wake of a wide ranging European Commission inquiry.

Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Statoil, Morgan Stanley, Trafigura Beheer, Trafigura, Phibro Trading and Vitol are named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court in October.

Oct 30, 2013

Oil by 2020 to fall to $80 in real terms -Reuters poll

LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Global oil consumers are likely
to feel the benefit of much cheaper fuel by 2020 thanks to the
U.S.-led shale boom, a Reuters survey found.

According to the median estimate of the poll, Brent crude
will average $95 a barrel over the course of 2020, a drop of $20
from the estimate in a similar survey a year ago, even though
spot oil prices have changed little since then.

Oct 18, 2013

Oil flat at $109 on uncertain China demand outlook

LONDON, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Brent crude futures held steady
at around $109 a barrel on Friday after strong Chinese Q3 GDP
data was offset by poor September oil demand in the world’s
second largest oil consumer.

Brent crude was up 15 cents at $109.26 a barrel by
0920 GMT but the contract was still poised to lose around 1.9
percent on the week after two weeks of gains. U.S. crude oil
fell 2 cents to $100.65.

Oct 15, 2013

Crunch time for commodity managers as fundamentals return

LONDON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – This year is likely to be make or
break for commodity funds as supply and demand fundamentals gain
the upper hand in driving prices following five years of dismal
performance determined mainly by economic factors.

The resurgence of fundamentals should, in theory, make it
easier for active managers with specialist knowledge and skills
to deliver decent returns, but this change may not turn out to
be the panacea that they had hoped for.

Oct 11, 2013

North Sea oil output to hit 2013 high in November

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – North Sea oil output tracked by
Reuters will rise by 17 percent in November from October to a
2013 high, potentially putting downward pressure on prices.

Although most European refineries are scheduled to emerge
from seasonal maintenance by November, poor margins may
encourage some to remain idle or resort to run cuts, market
participants said.

Oct 10, 2013

Commodity managers warm up to metals as world economy improves

LONDON (Reuters) – Base metals are back in favor with commodity managers after a long period in the dog house, reflecting a new enthusiasm for growth-oriented assets as the global economy picks up.

“The key economic regions of the world have either resumed a slight upward trend or have at least put the worst behind them,” said Ronald Wildmann, an adviser to the GFP Long Mining Fund, which returned almost 15 percent in the third quarter. “In China, the hard landing feared by many has not come to pass.”

    • About Claire

      "At Reuters I am an energy correspondent covering the oil markets and investment trends in commodities. Prior to this I focused on the asset management industry. Before joining Reuters I edited Global Investor, a monthly magazine for the institutional investment industry, and Portfolio International, a magazine for the offshore funds industry."
      Joined Reuters:
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