Crude oil prices rise for
the first time in seven days
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[June 17, 2016]
By Ahmad Ghaddar
LONDON (Reuters) - Crude oil prices rose on
Friday for the first time in seven days, but trading remains volatile
less than a week before Britain goes to the polls over its EU
Brent crude futures were up $1.11 at $48.30 a barrel by 1142 GMT,
having dropped 3.6 percent in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 81 cents to $47.02 after
falling by 3.8 percent in the previous session.
Both contracts are on track for a more than 4 percent decline for the
"It's mainly Brexit at the moment, at least until next Thursday, before
people start to look at the more fundamental oil/commodity drivers
again," ABN Amro senior energy economist Hans van Cleef said.
Analysts said that investors had closed some short positions after a
week of volatile trading, which helped to bring about some correction in
oil prices on Friday.
"I suspect markets will be very volatile overnight on Thursday and on
Friday," Julian Jessop, chief economist and head of commodities research
at Capital Economics, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.
Jessop said he would expect a sharp sell-off in oil if Britain votes to
leave the EU, possibly sending prices as low as $40 for Brent before a
rally sets in.
He forecast Brent and WTI crude would be around $45 a barrel at the end
of 2016 and around $60 at the end of 2017.
The British pound rose from a two-month low after campaigning for June
23's so-called Brexit vote was suspended following the murder on
Thursday of UK member of parliament Jo Cox, a vocal advocate for Britain
to stay in the EU.
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A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield, California October
14, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Britain's top share index, the FTSE 100, rose from a four-month low as stocks
that have been hardest hit by Brexit concerns rebounded after the shooting.
Global oil majors Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell are putting small refineries up
for auction as they look to trim lower-margin assets in the face of rising crude
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, is soliciting interest in its
Burnaby refinery in British Columbia and gasoline stations, the company told
Shell is looking for buyers for its Martinez refinery in California, two people
familiar with the matter told Reuters. Shell declined to comment.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Dale Hudson and
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