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).


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