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Oil fails to find direction
Published on 31.08.2016 12:09

The oil price remains under pressure today, brushing off fears of a slowdown in production as a result of possible storms appearing in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the back of “Tropical Depression Nine” Rig Operators in the Gulf of Mexico shut down about 11.5 percent of oil production and 5.5 percent of natural gas output as fears grew the storm could develop into a full blown crisis.

The news initially boosted the oil price but optimism soon faded as the storm was downgraded and production cuts were much less than expected.

Oil has given up over 5 percent since last week’s speech by US Fed president Janet Yellen and Vice chairman Stanley Fischer that a rate hike in the US next month was a real possibility which has seen the US dollar rise over the past 4 days.

A higher US dollar is bad news for oil as it makes the price higher for buyers with other currencies such as the Euro and British pound.

There seems to be a tug of war at the moment between Opec members and the US Federal Reserve with the former threatening to freeze production at their upcoming meeting, while the latter is gearing up to lift interest rates as soon as next month.

"Oil prices are caught between concerns about over-supply and a strong dollar on the one hand and the prospect of further jawboning from OPEC members that some form of production freeze could be on the cards," CMC Markets senior analyst Michael Hewson said.

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Andrew Masters

Analyst

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