Friday, March 23, 2012

Brent crude oil futures prices march 23 2012

Brent crude oil futures prices march 23 2012, Analysts oil prices 23-3-2012 : Brent oil prices open Friday’s trading session back around $123 a barrel dragged down by manufacturing data from China and in Europe showing a drop in new orders that spurred fresh concerns about global fuel demand leading up to the summer season.

Latest Brent Oil Price
In London, Brent crude oil futures for May 2012 delivery was trading at $123.61 a barrel, 08.06 GMT today on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Economic Data
Factory activity in China, one of the biggest engines of global oil demand growth, shrank in March for a fifth straight month, with the rate of contraction accelerating and new orders sinking to a four month low.

The report put oil and stock markets on a bearish trajectory in trading yesterday.

Oil prices also dropped on Thursday after data showed a sharp fall in French and German factory activity that even the most pessimistic economists failed to predict.

“There’s a far greater chance of a soft landing, but there will be more doubts from time to time, and sentiment has turned quite rapidly bearish today in Europe.” said Filip Petersson, commodity strategist at SEB in Stockholm.

Analysts said oil prices had also been hit after France said industrialised countries were considering releasing part of their crude stockpiles to counter rising prices.

“The French announcement is definitely having a downside effect on prices.” said Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets Singapore.

European Slowdown
News that the composite ‘flash’ PMI for the euro zone fell to 48.7 in March, its lowest level for three months, from 49.3 in February, when a rise to 49.6 had been predicted added to gloom and stock markets in Europe headed lower.

It was the fact that German manufacturing activity slumped back into contraction in March that particularly weighed. For some time Germany has been the economic powerhouse within the euro zone, and the fall in its manufacturing PMI to 48.1 from 50.2 in February, against consensus expectation of a climb to 51.0, disturbed investors.

“Higher oil prices might explain the weakness in the manufacturing PMIs in March as industrialists face a further squeeze in their profit margins whilst prospects for future demand remain sluggish.” said Annalisa Piazza at Newedge Strategy.

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