- Oil prices on Friday were pushed and pulled between competing drivers of Iran tensions and a supply glut.
- Thursday’s attacks on two oil tankers raise the prospect of a US-Iran military showdown, experts warn.
- Broadcom shares were trading down 8.7% in US premarket early Friday after the company warned of a demand slowdown from the US-China trade war.
- Watch West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude trade live.
After sinking to a five-month low and surging almost 5% in the same week, oil prices on Friday were pushed and pulled between competing drivers of Iran tensions and a supply glut.
Crude prices had slipped after a surprise increase in US oil inventories last week but then surged Thursday following attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Brent crude hovered at about $52 a barrel in London’s morning.
The US blamed the attacks on Iran, though Iran denied any involvement. The attacks raise the prospect of a US-Iran military showdown, experts warn.
Elsewhere in markets on Friday, futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq were down 0.6% and European tech stocks were taking a beating after the US chipmaker Broadcom warned of a demand slump resulting from trade-war tensions and the Huawei saga. Broadcom shares were trading down 8.7% in US premarket.
Here’s the market roundup as of 1:54 p.m. (8:54 a.m. ET):
- Crude prices have steadied, with West Texas Intermediate down 0.1% at $52.30 and Brent crude up 0.2% at $61.50.
- Asian stocks climbed with the Shanghai Composite down 1%, the SZSE Component down 1.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 0.7%.
- European equities have fallen, with Germany’s DAX down 0.6%, and Britain’s FTSE 100 and the Euro Stoxx 50 down 0.5%.
- US markets are poised to open lower. Futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were down 0.2%, while Nasdaq futures were down 0.7%.
For oil, conflicting supply and demand drivers threaten to fuel further volatility.
“Two opposite forces are in game for oil traders: the global economic slowdown and rising stockpiles pressure the oil prices downwards, while the ongoing tensions in the Middle East push the prices upwards,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior market analyst at London Capital Group.
“But the wider picture suggests that the rising expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut, the US sanctions on Iranian oil and an OPEC+ announcement to at least extend the oil production cuts beyond June could eventually give a short relief to the bulls.”