Bloomberg News

Crude Oil May Fall on Economy as Storm Passes, Survey Shows

September 02, 2011

(Updates with storm shut-ins in fifth paragraph, Labor Department report in ninth and prices in 12th.)

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Oil may fall next week after a storm threatening Gulf of Mexico energy installations dissipates and on concern that the global economic recovery is slowing, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Fifteen of 30 analysts, or 50 percent, forecast oil will decline through Sept. 9. Ten respondents, or 33 percent, predicted prices will increase and five estimated there will be little change during the period. Last week 50 percent of surveyed analysts projected a drop.

Crude traded near a one-month high in New York yesterday as a depression in the Gulf of Mexico that became Tropical Storm Lee today led energy companies to evacuate platforms and rigs. A Chinese manufacturing index hovered near its lowest point in 29 months in August, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday. President Barack Obama will outline a plan for jobs growth in an address Sept. 8.

“The storm threat should subside next week, and the concerns over the economy will intensify as the president addresses the nation,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “Unemployment will continue to be a drag on energy prices.”

Production Affected

About 47.6 percent of crude oil production and 33 percent of natural gas output from the Gulf of Mexico has been shut in as Lee approaches the Louisiana coast, according to estimates today from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 50.9 in August, compared with a 29-month low of 50.7 in July. A separate measure released by HSBC Holdings Plc indicated a contraction for a second month. Factory output in Europe shrank more than initially estimated, according to surveys.

Obama plans to address a joint session of Congress on his proposals to speed job creation while avoiding an increase in the deficit. Republicans generally oppose increased spending or boosts to revenue from taxes.

The Obama administration forecast yesterday that the jobless rate will average 9.1 percent in 2011 and show little change at 9 percent next year. It won’t fall below 6 percent until 2016, the Office of Management and Budget said in an update of its economic forecasts through August.

Unemployment Report

A Labor Department report today showed that payrolls were unchanged last month, the weakest reading since September 2010.

“Slowing growth and the prospect of rising supply from Libya” may curb prices, said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York.

Libya’s anti-government rebels, who declared an end to the 42-year rule of Muammar Qaddafi last week, have pledged to restore production which slumped to 60,000 barrels a day in July from 1.7 million barrels in January, according to the Paris- based International Energy Agency.

Crude oil for October delivery increased $1.08, or 1.3 percent, to $86.45 a barrel this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are down 5.4 percent this year.

The oil survey has correctly predicted the direction of futures 48 percent of the time since its start in April 2004.

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, Charlotte Porter

To contact the reporter on this story: Margot Habiby in Dallas at mhabiby@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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