Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Oil Prices Slides as Dollar Rises

OPEC's widened tent would still be built on desert sand Is the era of rising oil prices already over?
| 24 February, 2018, 11:48

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.46 percent as of 9:18 a.m. EST to $64.95 per barrel.

US crude oil production for week ending February 9 was up this week, coming in at 10.271million bpd, yet another new high.

In a market structure called backwardation, prompt crude prices are higher than forward prices, discouraging storage.

USA crude oil production, meanwhile, has added to supply-side concerns now that it's been holding steady at about 10 million barrels per day. The prices dropped on a rebound in the United States dollar from three-year lows after the Federal Reserve stated in its latest meeting minutes that it is on track to raise interest rates gradually over the course of the year.

Presumably, those focused on fundamentals must be frustrated by the fact that sentiment continues to sway the market, especially in light of recent important disclosures such as a tightening Asian market and Saudi Arabia admitting that reliable figures on stockpiles are hard to come by; Rob Thummel, portfolio manager at Tortoise Energy, on Thursday remarked, "I'm surprised that oil prices are falling today given the weaker US dollar; now, the direction of the dollar is having a bigger impact on oil prices than fundamentals".

Brent crude futures were last up 13 cents at $65.55 a barrel by 1500 GMT, as were West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures which were last at $61.81 a barrel.

This news overshadowed the some bullish USA inventories data.


The firm dollar outweighed a reported fall in USA crude inventories. Both reports were delayed a day due to a USA holiday on Monday.

Oil gained some support from a rise on Wall Street markets.

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

Futures lost as much as 1.5 percent in NY.

Brent for April settlement climbed by 97 cents to end the session at $66.39 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Interestingly, traders did not respond to word from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that oil stocks in developed OECD economies, which were 340 million barrels above the five-year average in January 2017, were just 74 million barrels above that level last month. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases official inventory data on Thursday.

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