Futures for crude oil went near the edge during the early morning trade in the US this week as traders are uptight in waiting for further indications to assess the capability of the global economy and the full impact it will cause in the future for oil demand prospects.

The volumes of trade were forecasted to remain at a meagre level by the week’s start with Nymex floor trading still remain closed for the President’s Day holiday.

The New York Mercantile Exchange had a rather positive futures for delivery due for the second quarter this year traded at USD 96.23 barrel during the US morning trade that slid down 0.2 % of the day’s trade. Moreover, New York-traded oil prices stood tight in the range in the mid USD 96.23 per barrel, the daily high and periodic session low of USD 96.00 per barrel. The oil prices ultimately fell to USD 95.23 by the end of the week which was considered its weakest level since the second week of this month.

Market sentiment still remained on the weaker side following several key data of last week showing that the Euro zone’s economy contracted by 0.6 % in the last quarter of last year as compared to the predicted 0.4 % decline as expected. It was the quickest decline rate in four years and ultimately marked a third consecutive quarter of contraction.

Last week’s official data also revealed that the Japanese economy contracted by 0.1 % by the start of this year as compared to speculations for an uptick of 0.1 % respectively. While in the U.S., data showed that industrial production also contracted by 0.1 % similarly but was missing expectations for a 0.2 % rise and well below a 0.4 % increase in the preceding month.

U.S. housing data which is due this week should provide additional information and a glimpse of the nation’s economic health. Oil traders are similarly looking ahead to the release if the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January conference this week for clues regarding the central bank’s outlook towards the most debated monetary policies.

Should any policy that might pause signal from the Fed minutes could eventually send the US dollar higher that will also stress dollar denominated commodities.
News on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for the second quarter delivery plummeted 0.05 % to be traded at USD 117.61 per barrel with spreads between the Brent and crude contracts contracting to USD 21.38 per barrel. Brent prices established support following reports that oil shipments from the Middle East declined for the third successive month last year to 7.06 million barrels per day which sadly was the lowest level so far.