Oil extended gains on rising concerns over Venezuela’s crude output

Oil prices went higher extending gains from previous session due to investors and analysts’ concerns over the possibility of a massive decline in Venezuela’s crude output after the presidential election. The international benchmark, Brent crude futures, managed to settle at $79.39 a barrel, which was 0.2%, or 17 cents, higher compared to the last session. Last week, is should be borne in mind, Brent managed to cross the $80 threshold. United States West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled at $72.47 per barrel after climbing by 0.3% or 23 cents.

According to Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo, with the likelihood of the United States imposing tighter sanctions on Caracas, global energy market could expect a significant decline in oil supply stemming from lower crude production in Venezuela. In addition, U.S. list of demands presented to Teheran and the strong possibility of sanctions against Iran, strengthens the black gold. Investors do not rule out Brent crude crossing the $80 barrier and staying there for a long time.

British pound fell against the dollar closing at a near five-month low

The British pound continued to decline against the U.S. dollar on Monday. It settled at $1.34, which is considered the currency’s lowest point since December 2017. The pound also slipped against the euro, trading at 87.64 pence a euro –  0.2% lower than the currency’s previous settlement.

Investors had expected two 25 basis point rate hikes this year. But they are now find it hard to believe there will be two hikes at that rate. This is due to the uncertainties over the results of the ongoing Brexit talks. So low expectations regarding a rate hike by the Bank of England and, at the same time, a robust dollar had tremendously negative impact on the British currency.

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