Oil futures rose Friday morning in US trading, with front-month NYMEX crude on
track to close at a fresh three-year high, despite a stronger dollar in the
wake of monthly US jobs data.

At 1501 GMT, NYMEX June crude was 56 cents higher at $68.99/b. ICE July Brent
was up 57 cents at $74.19/b.

NYMEX June ULSD was 2.33 cents higher at $2.1360/gal. NYMEX June RBOB was 2.01
cents higher at $2.1076/gal.

The US unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% in April, below 4% for first time
December 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 164,000
jobs added last month, marking the 91st consecutive month of jobs increases,
while March was revised upward by 32,000. But hourly earnings increased by
2.7% year on year, unchanged from the March revised figure, the monthly jobs
report showed.

BBH analysts said flat wage growth shouldn’t dissuade Federal Reserve
officials from raising interest rates at the next policy meeting June 12-13.
“The US jobs report was broadly disappointing,” the note said. “However, the
Federal Reserve will look through it and investors should too. A June hike is
still by far the most likely scenario.”

The US Dollar Index strengthened on the jobs data, touching 92.9 at one
point, its highest level since December 28. At 1501, the dollar index was
0.336 point higher at 92.75.

The dollar has rallied against a basket of major currencies over the last two
weeks, as traders focus on the Fed’s hawkish stance relative to other central
banks in England, Europe and Japan. A stronger dollar is considered bearish
for commodities, and could account for some of the resistance facing crude
futures.

Front-month NYMEX crude topped $68/b April 18 for the first time since
December 2014, but since then has been bound in a tight range, unable to break
above $70/b.

“The back-and-forth action has left short-term technical indicators stuck in
neutral, while maintaining the longer-term bullish trend,” TAC Energy said.

–Geoffrey Craig, geoffrey.craig@spglobal.com

–Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com

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