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Crude steady on escalating Iraq conflict, IMF move weighs

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Crude futures rose on Monday as violence in Iraq escalated as a Sunni insurgency continued to advance to Baghdad, though an International Monetary Fund decision to trim its 2014 growth forecast for the U.S. watered down oil's gains.

In the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in August traded at $106.23 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.05%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $106.04 a barrel and a high of $106.78 a barrel.

The August contract settled up 0.37% at $106.17 a barrel on Friday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $106.03 a barrel, the session low, and resistance at $106.84 a barrel, Friday's high.

Radical Sunni Islamic insurgents continued to march towards Baghdad on Monday after seizing control of key northern Iraqi cities, with reports of massacres arising, spooking investors in Monday trading with fears the country's oil supply may be disrupted.

Still, Iraq's main oilfields remain far to the south of the insurgency, which watered down oil's gains as did an International Monetary Fund decision to cut its U.S. growth forecast for 2014 due to an unusually harsh winter along with a "still-struggling housing market" will drag on recovery.

The IMF said it now expects the U.S. economy to expand 2% in 2014, down from its forecast of 2.8% in April.

Positive U.S. data helped stabilize oil prices though they did drift in and out of positive territory at times.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported earlier that its general business conditions index increased to 19.28 this month from 19.01 in May. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 15.0.

A separate report showed that U.S. industrial production rose by 0.6% last month, beating forecasts for a 0.5% gain.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oiloil futures for August delivery were up 0.21% and trading at US$112.70 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$6.47 a barrel.

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


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

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