Oil Prices trade lower on concerns of global oversupply

Indian Economic Update

  • India services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 50.2 in April, lower than 51.5 seen in March; the composite PMI was 51.3 in April compared to 52.3 in March.
  • Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) says India can achieve 10% growth in GDP by FY2020.
  • Fitch Ratings keeps India's sovereign rating unchanged at 'BBB-' the lowest investment grade with a stable outlook, citing a "weak fiscal position and difficult business environment".
  • India to launch a new series of Index of Industrial Production with a base year 2011-12 on May 9 with an aim to map economic activities more accurately.
  • India's core sector output rose 5% in March, compared with a 1% growth in February.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says the Indian economy will grow 7.4% this fiscal and 7.6% in the next as the bankruptcy and Goods and Services Tax (GST) laws will help create a better business friendly environment.

Other important developments during the week were:

  • NITI Aayog expects India's growth rate to return to the 8% plus trajectory in 2-3 years, paving the way for faster reduction in poverty during the next decade.
  • RBI allows co-operative banks to deploy their own or third party point of sale terminals.
  • RBI sends notices to eight companies amid concerns of round-tripping of fund and violation of rules on foreign borrowing.
  • Public sector oil marketing companies are planning to set up nearly 6,500 new LPG distribution centres.


Global Update

  • US initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 238,000 for the week ended April 29.
  • The US economy expanded 0.7% in Q1 2017 compared to 2.1% in Q4 2016.
  • China's manufacturing PMI fell to 51.2 in April, 51.8 in March, while non-manufacturing PMI fell to a six-month low of 54 in April from 55.1 in March.
  • US Federal Reserve kept the federal funds rate unchanged in a range of 0.75-1%, downplaying weak first quarter growth.
  • The Eurozone economy expanded 1.7% annually in Q1 2017 compared to 1.8% in the previous quarter.
  • Eurozone jobless rate stood at 9.5% in March, steady compared to February.
  • UK economy expanded 2.1% annually in Q1 2017 compared to 1.9% in Q4 2016.
  • Eurozone annual inflation is expected to be 1.9% in April 2017, up from 1.5% in March 2017.
  • US trade gap was $43.7 billion in March compared to $43.8 billion deficit in February.


  • Indian benchmark indices rallied on bolstered by the gains in banking firms after the government announced move to tackle surging bad loans.
  • Real estate and housing finance companies saw the centre stage as implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, and the government's continued thrust on affordable housing boosted the sentiments. The real estate Act, implemented in 13 states and Union Territories, calls for various compliance norms, disclosure details and funding rules, along with associated penalties.
  • Auto stocks saw momentum as they were directed by April sales numbers.
  • The Cabinet’s decision on ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act, along with decision of giving preference to Indian made iron and steel products in government procurement drove both the Nifty Bank and Steel industries higher.
  • SEBI proposes to allow category-3 Alternative Investment Funds or Hedge Funds in commodity derivatives.

During the week Sensex dropped 0.20% to close at 29858.80 while Nifty declined 0.20% to close at 9285.30.



  • A rise in US benchmark treasury yields following the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting added to the pressure on bond prices.
  • Three reverse repo auctions were held by the central bank for a total notified Rs. 95,000 crore.
  • The central bank conducted a 14-day term repo auction for a notified Rs. 21,500 crore.
  • Indian Government bonds fell amid thin trade volumes as market participant’s offloaded stock to make room for fresh supply of bonds worth Rs. 150 billion. The bond market is witnessing huge supply not only from the usual central and state government auctions but also from the big supply of Market Stabilisation Scheme (MSS) securities.
  • RBI withdrew liquidity to the tune of Rs. 3.8 trillion (net) under LAF (including fixed and variable rate repos and reverse repos), as of May 3. It injected Rs. 11.6 billion under Special Refinance Facility.

The 10Y benchmark yield ended at 6.94% vs. previous week’s close of 6.96%.



  • US crude inventories fell by 0.9 million barrels for the week ended April 28.
  • The surge in gasoline inventories dampened any hopes of revving demand. On the OPEC front, in a slight indication of change of stance, the Russian official who had earlier considered the deal extension as a “sensible move” now observed that the decision on extending the production cut deal has not yet been taken. This comes amid concerns over reports of declining compliance by OPEC members with the production cut deal.
  • Oil prices have rebounded from near 2017 lows after preliminary data showed a much larger-than-expected fall in US crude stocks, reviving bullish sentiment about easing oversupply.
  • Oversupply concerns centered now on Libyan output and rising U.S. production keep a lid on the market. OPEC, which agreed late last year with other big global exporters to curtail global production by about 1.8 million barrels a day, is expected to make a decision May 25 on whether to extend the pact.



  • World Gold Council (WGC) says gold demand in India could be muted in the second half of 2017, as the rollout of the new GST from July is expected to dent appetite.
  • According to a WGC report, the demand for gold jewellery rose 16% to 92.3 tonnes in the first quarter of calendar year 2017 (Q1CY17).
  • Downside risks to the yellow metal include Fed starting to shrink its balance sheet along with the possibility of US tax cuts and solid global economic growth.
  • Amid the receding geopolitical concerns as US President, Mr. Donald Trump’s plans to meet North Korean leader, Mr. Kim Jong Un in the right circumstances, Gold to remain range-bound for a while before taking up any direction.



  • The rupee was under pressure as the dollar strengthened globally after the US Fed said that it remained on track to raise US interest rates despite recent weak economic data.
  • The rupee fell against the US dollar after India’s Chief Economic Advisor, Mr. Arvind Subramanian expressed concerns over the rising Indian unit impacting exports.
  • The rupee ended off lows against the US dollar, benefitting from exporters’ and foreign banks’ dollar sales.


Source: CRISIL Market Reports, ICICI Bank Treasury Research Report.