Oil Weaker as U.S. Economic Worries Persist; Gold Nudges Up


Oil is faltering in early morning trade amid persisting worries about the strength of U.S. economic recovery in particular, while European shares are trending lower. Hurricane Earl, meanwhile, will skirt the Gulf of Mexico and instead head towards the Virgin Islands later in the day, which is also contributing to weaker energy prices.

Gold is nudging up slightly but the yellow metal is expected to remain range-bound as traders eye the release of the latest monthly U.S. jobs data Friday. The unemployment rate is expected to gain slightly, which in turn would push up demand for safe haven assets such as gold.

At 0755 ET, Brent crude is down 0.6% at $76.23 a barrel, while light sweet crude is 0.5% weaker at $74.83 a barrel, and natural gas is up 0.5% at $3.72 a million British thermal units.

Gold is up 0.1% at $1,239.40 an ounce, while silver is up 0.6% at $19.18 an ounce, and copper is 0.9% higher at $3.41 a pound.

BP plc ( BP ) has placed some of the blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on its engineers responsible for the deep sea oil well, according to media reports about the company's own internal probe into the environmental disaster. The report found that engineers misread pressure data that indicated an imminent blowout.

Chevron Corp ( CVX ) will invest $500 million to explore two wells in Turkey's Black Sea together with state-owned Turkiye Petrolleri AO, according to daily Sabah. Chevron and Turkiye Petrolleri will be equal partners in the venture, and Chevron will pay $50 million upfront to share the Turkish group's exploration license.

The CEO of Dubai's oil tanker group Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC (GULFNAV), Per Wistoft, is looking to buy new crude carriers as the company banks on an uptick in global demand bolstering shipping volumes, according to Bloomberg.

Lukoil OAO's (LUKOH) CEO Vagit Alekperov said that the Russian group should not buy back its remaining shares from ConocoPhillips, according to daily Vedomosti.

In the mining sector, Resolute Mining Ltd ( RSG ) said it increased output of the precious metal by 16% to 352.302 ounces in the latest fiscal year compared to a year ago. The surge was due to a rise in output at its Syama operation in Mali.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: BP , CVX , RSG

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