By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices were steady in early trade on Tuesday, sitting on losses of nearly 3% from the previous session after supplies began to resume in Norway and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Libya resumed production at its largest oilfield.

The return of supply comes as resurgent COVID-19 infections in the U.S. Midwest and Europe raise worries about fuel demand growth, posing a challenge for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together called OPEC+.

OPEC+ has curbed supply to help shore up oil prices amid coronavirus pandemic, with cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day due to hold through December. The producers’ market monitoring panel is due to meet next Monday.

“It won’t be a huge surprise if finally the alliance decides to address the worsening situation and amend its action,” Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, Bjornar Tonhaugen, said in a note.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude <CLc1> futures inched up 1 cent to $39.44 a barrel at 0117 GMT, while Brent crude <LCOc1> futures rose 2 cents to $41.74 a barrel.

With workers returning to U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms after Hurricane Delta and Norwegian workers returning to rigs after ending a strike, all eyes were on Libya, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which on Sunday lifted force majeure at the Sharara oilfield.

The country’s total output on Monday was at 355,000 bpd and will double if the Sharara field gets back to pumping at the 300,000 bpd it was producing before the Libyan National Army blockaded energy exports in January.

“That would effectively add 0.3% of global oil supply in a very short time frame,” Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.

Stoking worries about fuel demand, curbs

Crude-oil futures finished Monday at their lowest price in a week, with production in Libya, Norway and the Gulf of Mexico set to recover.

Libya lifted force majeure at its largest oil field, producers began restoring output in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Delta, and crude output in Norway looked to recover following the end of an oil-worker strike.

West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery
CL.1,
-0.02%

fell $1.17, or 2.9%, to settle at $39.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. December Brent crude
BRN00,
-0.04%

lost $1.13, or 2.6%, at $41.72 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Front-month WTI, the U.S. benchmark, and global benchmark Brent on Monday both marked their lowest settlements since Oct. 5, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

With the passing of the hurricane and the resolution of the strike in Norway, “investors are more concerned about the higher output in the face of subdued demand,” said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive of Sun Global Investments, in emailed comments. “However, more disruptions in the Gulf are likely in the coming weeks as the hurricane season continues. This could see prices increase again as workers will be expected to halt production during this time. ”

Hurricane Delta hit Louisiana as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of over 100 miles an hour on Friday. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated Monday that 69.4% of oil output in the Gulf of Mexico remained shut in due to the storm, along with 47.1% of natural-gas production. That’s a big improvement from Sunday, when 91.01% of oil output and 62.15% of natural-gas production were shut in.

Offshore output was returning in the aftermath of the hurricane, said Robbie Fraser, senior commodity analyst at Schneider Electric, in a note.

The year 2020 has seen

KEY POINTS

  • Every $1,000 increase in home price pushes 150,000 buyers away: Report 
  • Rental prices have dropped by 0.1% since last month: Report
  • Homebuying is currently led by people with jobs and equity

Rising demand for homes, unprecedented levels of mortgage rates and low supply have pushed home prices out of reach for prospective homebuyers, which could make America a ‘renter nation,’ Grant Cardone, a real estate investor, told Yahoo.

“Homeownership is still dead in this country because the only people that are buying homes right now are people that have equity, great credit, and a job,” Cardone said.

For every $1,000 increase in home price, 150,000 buyers are priced out of a possible home purchase, according to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The fall season is known to be good for real estate as home prices fall during this time. Realtor.com, however, suggests that median home prices rose to $350,000 in the week ending Oct. 9, almost matching summer highs. This was 12.9% higher than the previous week.

On the other hand, the rental market is looking more desirable and economic with prices dropping. Data from rental website Zumper suggests that the median rent price for a one-bedroom apartment slid 0.1% from last month.

Cardone said a secure job is a way to secure a home loan. Americans would need a better credit score now than they did before COVID-19 to get a home loan, he told Yahoo.

As the pandemic progressed from early February, the American public, especially renters, have higher rates of unemployment, fewer savings to be used for a down payment, and lower credit scores, Elizabeth Renter, an analyst at Nerdwallet, told Yahoo.

Even though the public is struggling with finances, banks have increased their requirements to give out loans,

SINGAPORE – Oil prices dropped for a second straight session on Monday as U.S. producers began restoring output after Hurricane Delta weakened, while a strike that had affected production in Norway came to an end.

Brent crude LCOc1 for December fell 55 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.30 a barrel by 0023 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate CLc1 for November was at $40.08 a barrel, down 52 cents, or 1.3%.

Front-month prices for both contracts gained more than 9% last week, the biggest weekly rise for Brent since June, but fell on Friday after Norwegian oil firms struck a wage bargain with labour union officials, resolving a strike that threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by close to 25%.

HURRICANE DELTA ROILS OIL RIGS, SQUEEZES GASOLINE PRICES

“We had good support for both Brent and West Texas on the back of some supply concerns,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“Given that the hurricane season in the U.S. has just started, there’s potential for that to keep prices firm.”

The Well-Safe Guardian plug and abandonment rig, operated by Well-Safe Solutions Ltd, stands in the Port of Cromarty Firth during sunrise in Cromarty, U.K., on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Oil headed for a weekly decline — only the second since April —

In the United States, Hurricane Delta, which dealt the greatest blow to U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico energy production in 15 years, was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by Sunday.

READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS BY CLICKING HERE

Workers headed back to production platforms on Sunday while Total SA TOTF.PA continued restarting its 225,500 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery on Sunday.

However, Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil products

Gold bullion bars after being polished at the ABC Refinery in Sydney on August 5, 2020.


DAVID GRAY/AFP/Getty Images

Text size

Gold was up by close to 40% for the year when it hit a record high in August, but it has since nearly halved that gain, and some analysts say a move to fresh all-time highs in the final quarter may be out of reach for the precious metal.

“Gold has enjoyed a meteoric rise this year, hitting a record in early August on the back of a weak dollar and continued [Federal Reserve] support,” says Matt Orton, vice president at Carillon Tower Advisers. The Fed actions drove real rates lower, “making cash and Treasuries much less attractive, and gold a better alternative.”

Futures prices for the precious metal settled at a record $2,069.40 an ounce on Aug. 6. On Oct. 7, it settled at $1,890.80, up 24% year to date.

“Negative U.S. real rates have stabilized and started to move higher in August,” with gold moving lower as a result, Orton says. The impact of real rates and the dollar are key drivers of gold prices, not equity investor sentiment, and “with economic data continuing to show signs of a recovery, I would expect this rise in real rates to continue, as well as a general strengthening of the dollar—an additional headwind for gold.” Prices for the metal aren’t likely to reach new record highs in the near future, he says.

The Fed pledged in September to hold its benchmark interest rate between zero and 0.25% until labor-market conditions reached a certain level and inflation was on track to moderately exceed its 2% target rate “for some time.” The fed-funds rate is below zero in real terms, which takes inflation into account.

Real rates, however, stopped plunging after