Oil Prices Struggle Around $50-A-Barrel Mark

Oil prices slipped Tuesday, struggling to move significantly above the $50 mark amid persistent concerns over a global oil glut.

A stronger U.S. dollar is also weighing on oil prices after the ICE U.S. dollar index hit a three-month high on Monday, triggering a selloff across commodities as investors shifted to other asset classes.

Light, sweet crude futures for delivery in August traded at $50.10 a barrel, down 4 cents, or 0.1%, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1.5% in the previous session, falling to a near four-month low of $50.15 a barrel. September Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange gave up 4 cents, or 0.1%, at $56.61 a barrel.

Nymex crude has fallen for four consecutive trading sessions and is down around 16% so far this month, while Brent crude has declined for two consecutive sessions and has lost around 11% this month.

The strength in the U.S. dollar may be driving investors away from commodities, with money managers holding the currency as the preferred store of value, analyst Tim Evans at Citi Futures said. He said concerns that a recovery in Iranian oil production would add to a global surplus in crude supply also continued to weigh on market sentiment.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.