Oil Softer on Easing of Middle East Concerns

Oil slipped to around $63 a barrel on Tuesday as concerns faded for now that rising tensions in the Middle East would escalate and hit oil supplies, compounding the impact of a weaker demand outlook.

Iran’s capture of a British oil tanker last week sparked worries about supply disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz, through which about a fifth of the world’s oil flows, prompting crude to rally on Monday.


West Texas Intermediate graph

But oil has since pared some gains. Brent crude LCOc1 fell 5 cents to $63.21 a barrel by 1334 GMT on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 16 cents at $56.38.

“The response of oil prices to the seizure of a British oil tanker by armed Iranian forces near the Strait of Hormuz has been amazingly muted so far,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank.

“It appears that the majority of market participants are convinced that there will be no open conflict between the West and Iran,” he said.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza