Crude oil futures trade lower on firmer dollar ahead of U.S. data

24 February, 2018, 11:45 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • When Success Isn't Enough       OPEC has almost cleared the oil glut but Saudi Arabia wants to go further              Source IEA

On Thursday, Brent crude oil futures were trading at just over $65 per barrel, virtually unchanged on the trading session as at 1200 GMT.

Last week, the amount of U.S. oil rigs drilling for new production rose for a fourth straight week to 798, in an indication that United States crude output, already at a record 10.27 million bpd, may rise further.

"Whether oil prices will profit from this will doubtless depend partly on the extent to which USA crude oil production increased last week".

The data will include crude oil stocks for the week until February 16, which are expected to grow by 1.3 million barrels.

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The dollar rose to a more than one-week peak against a basket of other currencies late on Wednesday, extending its recovery from last week, as minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting showed policymakers confident in the need to keep raising interest rates.

A stronger greenback typically reduces the allure of commodities priced in the currency, threatening an oil rally that began in June on expectations for robust demand as well as output curbs by OPEC and allies such as Russian Federation.

Oil surged to the highest in two weeks as American supplies unexpectedly shrank and exports surged, dispelling fears that a new shale boom will leave the country awash in crude.

U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette's remark Tuesday that America's oil output is on track for "phenomenal" growth this year, may concern some investors, with "a tsunami of U.S. shale oil [being] bearish", Mr. Tchilinguirian said.

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The American Petroleum Institute showed a surprising fall in USA oil inventories by around 900,000 barrels last week.

Today, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil for the month of April was down by a total of 0.9%, losing a total of 522 cents to $61.16 a barrel.

Opec has "taken a lot of production off the table, but it's just being replaced by US production to a large degree", said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc in NY.

Investors will also be watching U.S. inventory data from the Energy Information Administration due on Thursday.

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Comparatively overlooked by traders was news from Asia that oil markets have tightened noticeably as significant amounts of excess crude have been off tankers used for storage and delivered throughout the region. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts are expecting USA crude stocks to have increased by 2.5 million barrels for the week ended February 16. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases official inventory data on Thursday.

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