NYMEX-Crude ends down in Goldman’s wake, dollar

* Follow-through selling amid Goldman Sachs fraud case

* Air traffic halt on volcanic ash hits jet fuel demand

* Coming up: NYMEX May crude contract expiry on Tuesday

NEW YORK, April 19 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. crude oil futures ended
lower on Monday as investors sought safer havens and bullish
sentiment continued to turn sour in the aftermath of fraud
charges brought against Goldman Sachs on Friday.

Expiration of the May contract on Tuesday also pressured
traders to sell off positions on the front month. Prices were
down for the third session in a row.

The dollar grew stronger and Europe’s shut air space curbed
jet fuel demand. That pressured heating oil futures, which are
used as the benchmark against which jet fuel is traded.

“The combination of the Goldman Sachs fraud charges and the
impact of the Iceland volcanic eruption on Europe’s economy as
it relates to oil demand have pulled crude prices down,” said
Phil Flynn, analyst at PFGBest Research in Chicago.

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland has cut world jet fuel
demand by at least 1.0 million barrels per day, about a fifth
of global consumption, market analysts said. [ID:nLDE63I1EF]

Heating oil, the benchmark futures contract that jet fuel
trades against, was the biggest percentage loser in the oil
futures complex after midday on Monday.

“With the grounding of most of Europe’s commercial air
fleet, another blow to demand has been struck,” said Mike
Fitzpatrick, vice president at MF Global in New York.

New York Harbor cash jet fuel prices were expected to slump
further as the volcanic ash cloud continues to disrupt air
travel in Europe, traders said. [ID:nN19220726]

The U.S. dollar and yen firmed as investors sought safety
in low-yielding but stable currencies after the Goldman charges
and as concerns persisted about Greece’s debt. [USD/] The
dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies (.DXY: ).

PFGBest Research’s Flynn added that the Goldman issue had
changed the market outlook, “and may be a major
sentiment-changing event for the energy market.”

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) regained some ground in late trading, after
seesawing earlier on worries about the Goldman Sachs case, on
gains expected in quarterly reports due this week. [.N]

The Conference Board said its index of leading economic
indicators rose 1.4 percent in March. [ID:nN19247244]

Intraday on Monday, crude prices dipped below the $80.78
50-day moving average, according to Reuters data.

PRICES

* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May (CLK0: ) crude
settled down $1.79, or 2.15 percent, at $81.45 a barrel, the
lowest since front-month crude settled at $80 March 26.

* NYMEX May crude traded as low as $80.53, the lowest since
March 29’s intraday low of $80.18. The day’s high was $83.

* The three-day loss, at 5.1 percent, was the biggest since
a three-day decline between Feb. 3-5 of 7.52 pct.

* In London, June Brent crude (LCOM0: ) ended down $1.76, or
2.05 percent, at $84.23 a barrel, trading from $83.25 to
$85.74.

* NYMEX May RBOB (RBK0: ) closed down 2.26 cents, or 0.99
pecent, at $2.2544 a gallon, also down for a third day, after
trading from $2.2202 to $2.2772.

* NYMEX May heating oil (HOK0: ) ended down 6.01 cents, or
2.71 percent, at $2.1568 a gallon, trading from $2.1402 to
$2.2170.

* The May/May heating oil crack spread (0#CL-HO=R: ) ended at
$9.14, down from Friday’s $9.87. The May/May RBOB crack spread
(0#RB-CL=R: ) ended at $13.23, up from Friday’s $12.39.

* The spread between the current front month and the
five-year forward crude contract (CLc61: ) ended at $10.68,
widening from $9.86 on Friday. The May 2015 contract settled
Monday at $92.13, down 97 cents or 1.04 percent.

TECHNICALS

NYMEX crude 10-day/20-day moving average: $84.73/$83.57

Technical support/resistance:

NYMEX crude: $79.62/$85.35

NYMEX heating oil: $2.20/$2.25

NYMEX RBOB: $2.20/$2.30

For a full report on technicals, click on [ID:nLDE63I17J]

MARKET NEWS

* U.S. crude oil and refined product inventories rose last
week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday, ahead of
weekly industry and government inventory data. [EIA/S]

* A planned hike in gasoline prices will cut consumption
and reduce Iran’s dependence on imports, a senior official
said. Iran imports 40 percent of its gasoline. [ID:nDAH943421]

* Angolan Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos
said that the current oil price was too high. [ID:nLDE63H0O5]
(Reporting by Gene Ramos and Robert Gibbons)

NYMEX-Crude ends down in Goldman’s wake, dollar