Oil Markets Calm As Data Shows Smaller Inventory Build-Up (USO)


The result, says Marshall, has been a decline in global crude inventories, which has contributed to higher oil prices.

Brent crude was last up eight cents at $64.72 USA a barrel, climbing from an earlier low of $64.43.

Production rose as well, with USA output hitting 10.38 million barrels a day, a new weekly record; all-time daily output measured on a monthly basis broke a 47-year record in November. Gasoline stocks fell by 6.3 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2 million-barrel drop.

OPEC is warning that President Donald Trump's trade policies could hurt global economic growth and oil demand.

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"Commercial crude stocks in the United States have been recovering and are at their highest level since December 2017".

"The drop in product stocks is significant with refinery utilization up 2% to 90%", said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics.

China beat forecasts with a 7.2 percent year-on-year rise in industrial output in the first two months of 2018, while data showed Chinese crude output fell 1.9 percent. The IEA will release its monthly oil report Thursday.

The U.S. supply increase is expected to come as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, dominated by oil giant Saudi Arabia, works with Russian Federation to slash output after prices for crude plummeted to around $30 per barrel in 2016 from over $100 two years earlier.

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Iraq is talking with the Kurds and Turkey about restarting crude shipments from fields in the Kirkuk area of northern Iraq, Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi told reporters in Basra.

Moody's said oil prices have firmed since OPEC's November 2016 agreement to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), while non-OPEC members, led by Russian Federation, agreed to cut production by 558,000 bpd. Analysts had forecast a smaller decline of 1.519 million barrels.

Looking at crude oil prices today, both WTI and Brent are now trading sideways. Crude oil inventories were lower than estimates (+2.4m vs. +3.0m expected).

In terms of the five-year average of OECD commercial stocks that OPEC is officially targeting in the production cut deal, preliminary data for January showed that total OECD commercial stocks were 50 million barrels above the latest five-year average, with crude stocks at a surplus of 74 million barrels and product stocks at a deficit of 24 million barrels to the seasonal norm.

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