MARKET WATCH: NYMEX, Brent crude oil prices regain previous losses

Prices for light, sweet crude oil rebounded on the New York market after a 6-day losing streak on June 17, and the upward momentum continued in early June 20 trading. Brent crude oil prices on the London market were doing the same.

Analysts attributed the oil price support to expectations the UK likely will vote to remain in the European Union. A June 23 referendum is scheduled.

Opinion polls published during the weekend showed a slim majority would vote to remain in the EU. The referendum could have an effect on global economies, which would in turn have an effect on oil prices.

Analysts say that if the UK were to leave the EU, then the US dollar would strengthen, putting a damper on oil prices. Oil trades in dollars so a stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

“If there is a Brexit, the negative pressure on oil prices would be driven by risk aversion, not fundamentals,” said Michael Wittner, Societe Generale chief oil analyst. He said any decline would be temporary.

Energy prices

The July crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $1.77 on June 17, settling at $47.98/bbl. The August contract rose $1.82 to $48.56/bbl.

Natural gas for July was up 4¢ to a rounded $2.62/MMbtu on NYMEX. The Henry Hub cash price was down 3¢ to $2.58/MMbtu.

Heating oil for July delivery climbed nearly 6¢ to a rounded $1.48/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for July rose 4¢ to a rounded $1.51/gal.

The August Brent crude contract on London’s ICE gained $1.98 to $49.17/bbl. The September contract was up $1.99 to $49.75/bbl. The July gas oil contract settled at $433/tonne on June 17, up $9.50.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes price for June 17 was $44.18/bbl, up 15¢.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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