Oil prices ease after Suez Canal traffic resumes

London, United Kingdom: World oil prices eased on Monday as traffic resumed on the Suez Canal after a massive container ship blocking the waterway was freed.

The Suez Canal Authority said the Ever Given was back afloat and traffic resuming in one of the most important routes for global trade and crude shipments that had been shut for almost a week.

Crude prices had tumbled earlier after the ship was partially freed, but rebounded quickly afterward when salvage experts said the hardest work was ahead.

But only hours later they managed to free the ship completely, and oil prices fell back.

"The relief is palpable that we won't see a long-term closure of what is an important trade route," said market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK.

The Suez Canal Authority said the waterway would be open 24 hours per day and the backlog of hundreds of vessels could be cleared in around three and a half days.

"Adding to the short-term woes for the crude demand outlook is that global Covid cases have risen for a fifth straight week," noted analyst Edward Moya at currency trading platform Oanda.

Traders also mulled Thursday's OPEC producers' meeting.

Elsewhere, European and US equity markets were largely unfazed by Friday's unusually large sale of more than $20 billion in stocks from US media and Chinese companies listed in New York.

The shares unloaded by Archegos Capital Management tumbled Friday as a result, and share prices in certain banks with exposure to the fund were hit on Monday.

The price of shares in Japanese bank Nomura plunged by 16 percent in Tokyo after it warned of a potential $2 billion loss while Credit Suisse shed 14 percent.

Shares in other banks also suffered from Deutsche Bank shedding 3.3 percent, and BNP Paribas and Barclays both giving up 1.9 percent.

Across the Atlantic, Wells Fargo was down 3.7 percent, Morgan Stanley 3.4 percent, JPMorgan Chase 1.4 percent, and Goldman Sachs 1.3 percent.

Paris and Frankfurt both ended the day higher, while London drifted lower.

In New York, all three main were lower on Monday after having finished Friday on a strong note, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending at all-time highs.

Key figures around 1530 GMT

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.5 percent at $60.64 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.6 percent at $64.16 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 32,977.60 points

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,886.58

London - FTSE 100: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 6,736.17 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.5 percent at 14,817.72 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 6,015.51 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 percent at 29,384.52 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: FLAT at 28,338.30 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 3,435.30 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1768 from $1.1794 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3784 from $1.3789

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.39 pence from 85.53 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.74 yen from 109.64 yen

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