Oil producers soar, European benchmarks sink

Business | 16 Sep 2019 5:55 pm

European stock markets fell today as traders reacted to the news of the attack that took half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output offline. Shares in crude oil producers climbed while airlines struggled.

Brent oil posted its biggest ever intraday jump to more than US$71 a barrel before paring gains. 

That gain represented the biggest percentage value jump in Brent crude since the lead up to the 1991 Gulf War that saw a U.S.-led coalition expel Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.

West Texas Intermediate crude shot up by 8.8 percent to US$59.70 a barrel.

Currencies of commodity-linked nations climbed including the Norwegian krone and the Canadian dollar.

The broader Stoxx Europe 600 fell by 0.63 percent to 389.31 in a move that masked a major split.

Oil majors like BP and Royal Dutch Shell  rallied as explorers including Aker BP  surged.

Airlines including Air France-KLM  that are sensitive to jet fuel costs tumbled, as did cruise operator Carnival. Banks that have rallied of late also dropped. Deutsche Bank  and Commerzbank fell.

The German DAX weakened by 0.65 percent to 12387.81, the French CAC 40  fell by  0.78 percent to 5611.15 and the U.K. FTSE 100 lost 0.36 percent to 7341.03.

Oil prices were off the day’s highs but still strong, with Brent crude oil futures  up over US$5 a barrel, a gain of about 9 percent.

U.S. stock futures were weaker as well, while the yield on the 10-year fell by 4 basis points to 1.86%.

Saturday’s attack halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia’s global daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production. Most of that output goes to Asia.

At 5.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, the Saudi disruption would be the greatest on record for world markets, according to figures from the Paris-based International Energy Agency. It just edges out the 5.6 million-barrels-a-day disruption around the time of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to the IEA.-MarketWatch/Bloomberg/AP




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