Oil sinks as ship blocking Suez Canal starts to move

Oil slumped more than 2% today after news emerged from the Suez Canal that crews have managed to move the giant container ship that has been blocking the global trade passage for nearly a week.

Brent oil was down $1.38, or 2.1%, at $63.19 a barrel by 0511 GMT. U.S. crude fell 1.48 cents, or 2.4%, to $59.49 a barrel.

A shipping source claims the ship has almost been completely floated and will be inspected before it is moved.

Hundreds of other container ships, bulk carriers and oil-laden tankers remain backed up at both ends of the canal, but news of the ship’s movement immediately sent oil prices sharply lower after they had traded slightly down for the morning.

Oil prices have swung wildly in the last few days as traders and investors tried to weigh the impact of the blockage of a key trade transit point and the broader effect of lockdowns to stop coronavirus infections.

Prices are getting some support from expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will maintain lower output levels when they meet this week.


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