Stocks in the United Kingdom continued a week long losing trend on Friday, driven in part by a stronger U.S. dollar that impacted share prices in the commodities sector.
The dollar had dropped down approximately 2.4 percent for the month of June; and the weaker dollar made trading cheaper for countries using other currencies in terms of dollar-traded fuels.
The Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 ended at 6,199.12: a drop of 0.5%. In terms of energy on the FTSE, the U.S. dollar helped to put pressure on the price of commodities and push energy and mining shares lower. BP PLC fell 0.9%, and Royal Dutch Shell saw a dip of 0.4%. WTI saw a drop of more than 1%, bringing it below the $50-per-barrel mark.
Brent saw a similar slip but stayed above $51 per barrel. Despite the market moves, oil prices looked to remain on the trajectory of weekly gains of just over 3%.
In other markets, Brent crude hit $51.28 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. On the NYMEX, WTI futures were down at $49.83 per barrel. Global Risk Management oil analyst Michael Poulsen suggested taking a “wait-and-see” attitude for Friday, suggesting that traders keep an eye on short-term activity for prices.Related: After 350,000 Layoffs Oil Companies Now Face Worker Shortages
Poulsen commented that the long-term outlook “remains bullish” as the oil market “rebalances.” Commerzbank stated that the drops on Friday reflect “poorer sentiments” about the market overall, as opposed to being a reaction to the oil situation. Other analysts indicated that the price falls were the result of profit-taking by traders before the weekend, and prior to the upcoming meeting of the Federal Reserve.
For the day, traders planned to keep an eye on the rig count in the U.S., which should give them an idea of industry activity. Last week, Baker Hughes reported a rise in the U.S. rig count to 325.
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