Oil Bounces Back In Third Quarter
Oil prices had their best quarter this year in the three months to September, while gold eked out a small rise, despite a negative performance for the week.
The potential adverse fallout from the independence referendum in the oil-rich Kurdish region of Iraq hit sentiment last week, but couldn’t stop a solid end to the week, months and quarter.
In New York, November West Texas Intermediate crude added 11 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at US$51.67 a barrel.
The front-month contract was up about 2% for the week, up 7.7% for the month and saw quarterly rise of 10.5%, according to data from the US FactSet group.
Based on the most-active contracts, however, prices were up around 12% from the August contract settlement of $US46.04 at the end of June.
In London November Brent crude the global oil benchmark, tacked on 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $US57.54 a barrel.
The contract, which expired at the session’s end on Friday, rose 1% for the week, 8.8% for the month and 16.6% for the quarter.
Analysts say the war of words in the wake of Kurdish voters overwhelmingly voting in favour of independence from Iraq on Monday continues to send tremors through the market.
The vote result could see a hostile response from Iraq’s central government, as well as from neighbouring countries such as Iran and Turkey and disrupt the flow of as much as 500,000 barrels a day of Kurdish oil exported through a Turkish port.
Brent prices have eased back from the two-year high above $US59 it saw Monday after the referendum.
US crude oil production inched up last week to reach 9.55 million barrels a day slightly under its 2015 peak, and Baker Hughes said on Friday that the number of rigs looking for oil in the US rose for the first time in a month to as the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey continue to fade.
Baker Hughes reported a rise of 6 to 750 oil rigs last week.
And gold prices hung on to a gain for the third quarter despite ending well under the $US1,300 an ounce level on Friday
Gold settled lower Friday, posting losses for the week and September in reaction to a stronger US dollar, but still rose in the three months to the end of September.
Comex gold for December delivery fell $US3.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $US1,284.80 an ounce.
That left prices down roughly 1% for the week and 2.7% for the month. According to FactSet data prices were up around 3.6% for the quarter.
Comex December silver shed 17.1 cents, or 1%, to $US16.676 an ounce—for losses of about 1.8% for the week and 4.8% for the month. The metal was up 1% rise for the quarter.
Comex December copper fell 2.6 cents, or 0.9%, to $US2.955 a pound, but scored a quarterly gain of over 9%.
In London LME copper notched up its fifth consecutive quarterly gain on Friday
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had climbed 0.4% to $US6,545 a tonne. Copper was up more than 10% since the beginning of July.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.