U.S. crude oil inventories down for record 10th week

25 January, 2018, 02:44 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • World commodities

"This is the lowest level for USA crude inventories since February 2015, and is a signal that demand is outpacing supply", researchers at the University of Alberta said in a note. "Until that starts to reverse, I think prices will remain somewhat supported", said Kyle Cooper, an analyst at ION Energy Group.

March crude added 27 cents, or 0.4%, to $64.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up from $64.51 before the supply data.

WTI reached a high of $65.42 a barrel, with its discount to Brent narrowing to $5 a barrel, down from around $6.50 at the beginning of the year. While the OPEC cut agreements have been extended for a number of times now, the rising US crude production during the second half of 2017 have offset the recovery of the oil prices sooner.

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In Europe, crude oil futures also traded higher during the late trading session on Tuesday on the improved global economic outlook as the market looked forward to the release of USA crude stocks data.

Still, US crude futures were up 82 cents to US$64.39 a barrel, not far from the day's settlement, as crude had rallied on thin volumes headed into the release. Analysts forecast a 1.6 million-barrel draw in Reuters poll.

According to the EIA, oil stockpiles slumped lower at the storage hub of Cushing, Okla., falling to 39.2 million barrels, lowest since January 2015.

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Gasoline futures edged up 0.77 cents, or 0.4%, to $1.9164 a barrel. Demand for stored supplies in the world's biggest economy has been robust at a time of year when it's usually weak because of refinery repairs, all against the backdrop of Opec production curbs.

Brent for March settlement rose 57 USA cents to end the session at US$70.53 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley both upped their forecasts for crude prices this week, while Goldman Sachs said the risk of prices overshooting its current target is mounting. The American Petroleum Institute publishes industry data late in the trading day Tuesday, followed by official estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. It comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers continue their supply-cut agreement which began in January 2017 and is due to run until the end of 2018.

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