Oil Edges Higher as Demand Expectations Offset Dollar Strength

A pumpjack operates at the Vermilion Energy site in Trigueres, France, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A pumpjack operates at the Vermilion Energy site in Trigueres, France, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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Oil Edges Higher as Demand Expectations Offset Dollar Strength

A pumpjack operates at the Vermilion Energy site in Trigueres, France, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A pumpjack operates at the Vermilion Energy site in Trigueres, France, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Oil prices firmed slightly on Monday as traders weighed support from expected summer demand and geopolitical tensions against a stronger dollar.
Brent crude futures were up 15 cents, or 0.2%, at $85.39 a barrel by 0850 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $80.86 a barrel, up 13 cents, or 0.2%. Both benchmarks gained about 3% last week for their second consecutive weekly gains.
"The chief underlying reason behind the price strength ... is the growing confidence that global oil inventories will inevitably plunge during the summer in the northern hemisphere," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM, referring to seasonal demand for oil products.
Geopolitical risks in the Middle East and a ramp-up in Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian refineries are also underpinning oil prices, Reuters reported.
EU countries on Monday agreed a new package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, including a ban on reloading Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the EU for further shipment to third countries.
However, a strengthening US currency has made dollar-denominated commodities less attractive for holders of other currencies.
"The US dollar ... appears to have broken higher following better US PMI data on Friday night and political concerns ahead of the French election," said IG analyst Tony Sycamore.
The dollar index, measuring performance against six major currencies, climbed on Friday and was up slightly on Monday after data showed US business activity at a 26-month high in June.
In Ecuador, state oil company Petroecuador has declared force majeure on deliveries of Napo heavy crude for export after the shutdown of a key pipeline and oil wells owing to heavy rain, sources said on Friday.
In the United States, the number of operating oil rigs fell by three to 485 last week, the lowest since January 2022, Baker Hughes said in a report on Friday.



Construction Begins on ‘Banan City’ Project in Riyadh

Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Construction Begins on ‘Banan City’ Project in Riyadh

Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Engineers oversee construction work at “Banan City” Project in northern Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group announced on Saturday that construction work has commenced on the “Banan City” Project in Riyadh’s northeastern Al-Fursan suburb.
The company stated that operations are underway around the clock, adhering to construction schedules and plans. Heavy and operational equipment are fully deployed to deliver units to owners sequentially.
Banan City is set to be a smart city spanning 10 million square meters in northeastern Riyadh.
It aims to offer an unprecedented quality of life to over 120,000 residents within a gated community. The development will integrate cutting-edge smart city technologies with residential privacy and the latest sustainability standards.
In May, the National Housing Company and Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group laid the foundation for “Banan City” and began accepting reservations.
On July 9, the group disclosed to the Egyptian stock exchange that “Banan City,” described as a sustainable city, has achieved unprecedented sales since its launch in May, surpassing the first-year sales target in just two months.
Hesham Talaat Moustafa, Chairman of Saudi Talaat Moustafa Group, projected the project’s revenue at around 40 billion Saudi riyals ($12 billion), with a total investment cost estimated at 31.4 billion riyals.