Markets

Crude Oil Steadies After EIA Inventories

Crude Oil Steadies After EIA Inventories

Crude oil prices moved lower on Thursday, after data late Wednesday showed that inventories rose unexpectedly last week, eclipsing recent signs that the market is tigthtening, while markets awaited the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly report due later in the day.

The agency also raised its crude oil price outlook for both West Texas and Brent oil this year and next. Distillate stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels, short of expectations for a drop of 2.2 million barrels.

WTI light sweet crude oil fell 70 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $50.60/bbl.

Yesterday the EIA said it expects US crude oil production in 2018 to rise by more than previously expected.

"This means OPEC must deepen its production cuts to finish its job of bringing oil stocks back to the five-year average", Fritsch said.

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OPEC and other producers including Russian Federation agreed previous year to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up prices and the cuts, from January, have helped drain inventories. But traders say supplies remain ample and OPEC is widely expected to extend its cuts beyond the current expiry date of end-March 2018.

High U.S. production is pushing increasing volumes of U.S. crude into world markets, feeding inventories and undermining OPEC's efforts to tighten the market.

"Our forecast of global demand growth remains unchanged at 1.6 million barrels per day in 2017, or 1.6 percent, and 1.4 million barrels per day in 2018, or 1.4 percent", said the report.

Traders said they would look to USA fuel inventory data on Wednesday and Thursday for indicators on price direction.


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