Oil May Slip Towards Mid-$80s as Europe Weighs: Survey
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 | 00:00
Oil prices will likely extend losses for a fifth-straight week as fears about a Greek exit from the euro zone and Spain's banking system continue to trigger outflows from riskier assets including commodities and into the relative safety of the U.S. dollar, according to CNBC's weekly survey of oil market sentiment.
Many traders and strategists polled forecast U.S. crude futures could make a sustained breach below $90 a barrel and test $85 or possibly $84 a barrel this week. Much will depend on the U.S. labor report on Friday. A solid reading may help establish a floor in the oil market while a poor number could compound the woes of the global economy.
The poll showed consensus opinion was overwhelmingly bearish: Ten out of the eleven respondents in the sample group expect prices to fall this week. Phil Flynn of PFGBest, the survey's sole respondent with a bull call, expected a rebound based on technical indicators which suggested markets were oversold and fears that tensions would resurface.
Talks last week between Tehran and world powers did not result in any agreement, with negotiations continuing next month at another meeting in Moscow, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency found uranium particles refined to a higher-than-expected level than what Iran has disclosed.
"Right now, I continue to expect a general 'risk-off' or 'short the world' attitude," said Tom Weber at Portfolio Managers, Inc. Commodity Futures & Options. "However, I won't underestimate the ability of the political elite to save the day with pronouncements and promises of solidarity. I believe traders have adapted to a 'show me' approach to global markets. The market is going to call the bluff of central bankers regarding QE."
Correction: An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that consensus opinion was "overwhelmingly bullish" rather than "overwhelmingly bearish."
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