Acadiana Business

Crude up on Greece optimism, down on Spain

by Leslie Turk

Despite optimism about Greece, crude oil prices are weakening on worries over Spain's banking crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that crude oil futures are weaker today as worries over Spain's banking sector and the ongoing euro-zone debt crisis trump optimism over Greece. Greek polls suggesting pro-austerity parties might win elections next month, raising the likelihood the country will stay in the euro common currency, sent prices up just a day ago. The polls were released Sunday.

The WSJ story did note, however, that ongoing concern over Middle East oil supplies is continuing to support prices:

The euro fell along with European equities on weak April retail sales figures from Spain, pressuring oil prices lower. European benchmark Brent tumbled below $107 a barrel after the Spanish figures showed the biggest decline in more than a year as consumers felt the squeeze from higher taxes, a weak economy and government austerity measures.

At 1109 GMT, the front-month July contract trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange was trading up 40 cents, or 0.5%, at $91.29 per barrel. The front-month July Brent contract trading on London's ICE futures exchange was down 16 cents at $106.95 per barrel.

Worries over Middle Eastern oil supplies, following a lack of progress on Iran nuclear talks, and expectations that U.S. data releases due later will show signs of improvement kept prices supported, but without enough conviction to make a big move higher, analysts said.
Read the story in the Wall Street Journal here (subscription required).