Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Crude oil prices slip, gasoline futures trade higher| SapForex24

Oil prices slid lower on Wednesday as ongoing disruptions from Tropical Storm Harvey kept refineries from buying crude, weighing on demand but prompting fears over fuel shortages.

U.S. crude oil was down 27 cents or 0.6% at $46.16 a barrel by 04:30 AM ET (08:30 GMT), not far from Monday’s one-month trough of $45.77.

Global benchmark Brent futures were at $51.35 as barrel, off 31 cents or 0.56%.

Some refiners in Corpus Christi that shut down ahead of the storm were looking to restart, but heavy rains were expected to last through Wednesday, adding to catastrophic flooding.

The National Weather Service said the storm has set a rainfall record for tropical cyclones in Texas.
But even refineries that are able to restart may experience difficulties getting enough oil supplies.

Ships carrying oil are still unable to enter Texas ports, while producers in south Texas who shut down operations are only starting to ramp up and some pipelines that carry supplies to refineries are still shut.

U.S. gasoline futures were higher, rising 0.62% to $1.6302.

Prices spiked to a two-year peak of $1.8180 on Monday after Motiva Enterprises said it was shutting down the nation's largest refinery due to flooding.

Oil and fuel prices have diverged since the storm began amid fears over fuel shortages.

Investors were beginning to turn their attention to the weekly oil inventory report from the U.S. government, with analysts expecting to see another decline in stockpiles.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said late Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.780 million barrels last week, indicating that the U.S. oil market is gradually tightening.

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Oil starts the week on back foot amid U.S. production jitters-SapForex24

Oil prices drifted lower on Monday, as concern over rising production in the U.S. dampened sentiment.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed last week that total domestic crude production edged up by 79,000 barrels a day to 9.5 million barrels, its highest level since July 2015.
That comes despite data showing that U.S. energy firms cut rigs drilling for new oil for a second week in three. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Aug. 18, bringing the total count down to 763, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said Friday.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September con||tract was at $48.52 a barrel by 3:25AM ET (0725GMT), down 14 cents, or around 0.3%.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 16 cents, or about 0.3%, to $52.58 a barrel.

Oil prices settled sharply higher on Friday, jumping about 3% in a surprise rally after reports surfaced that a unit at Exxon (NYSE:XOM) Mobil’s Baytown, Texas refinery shut down. The 584,000 barrel-a-day plant is the second-largest refinery in the U.S.Despite Friday's rally, New York-traded oil prices ended the week down 31 cents, or nearly 0.6%, its third such loss in a row. In contrast, London-traded Brent futures notched a weekly gain of 62 cents, or roughly 1.2%.

The global benchmark has been buoyed by recent signs that global supplies are tightening.
OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for September declined 1.7 cents, or nearly 1.1%, to $1.605 a gallon, while September heating oil slumped 0.9 cents, or 0.6%, to $1.610 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for September delivery tacked on 0.9 cents, or roughly 0.3%, to $2.902 per million British thermal units.

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Oil rises as inventory overhang erodes and Saudi cuts exports-SapForex24

Oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by a sustained decline in inventories and as Saudi Arabia prepared to cut crude supplies to its prized Asian customers.

Crude is down nearly 7 percent so far this year, suppressed in large part by concern that OPEC and its partners may not be able to force global oil inventories to drop by cutting production.

However, Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it would cut supplies to most buyers in Asia - the world's biggest oil-consuming region - by up to 10 percent in September.

Brent crude futures were up 29 cents at $52.99 a barrel by 0855 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 17 cents at $49.73.

In a sign that investors are turning more optimistic about the pace at which oil supply and demand are rebalancing, prices for crude for prompt delivery are trading above those for delivery further in the future.

"This is the march toward the flattening of the curve," said SEB chief commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop.

"The major event now going forward is the Middle East and Asian refineries rushing back into operation and consuming more crude, just as Saudi Arabia says it will cut September deliveries to Asia," he said.

The physical market is also showing signs of stronger near-term demand, after having suffered from a persistent overhang of unused crude.

Prices for prompt deliveries of North Sea crude oil are at their smallest discount to future prices in nearly two years and a surplus of oil stored on ships is gradually dissipating, having hit two-year highs.

Inventories in the United States are at their lowest since October, having fallen for 10 of the last 12 weeks.

Global stocks remain above their longer-term averages and with the summer driving season nearly at an end, investors are well aware that the attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers to boost prices may bring unwanted side-effects.

"The minute OPEC try to raise prices by cutting production, U.S. producers will react accordingly to fill the void. This results in a tug of war that we have witnessed all year and the final outcome is a range-bound market," said Matt Stanley, a commodities broker at Freight Investor Services in Dubai.

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Oil on the back foot ahead of U.S. supply update-SapForex24

Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday, as investors looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract was at $49.12 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0735GMT), down 5 cents, or around 0.1%.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for October delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.02 a barrel.

Oil prices fell for a second straight session in volatile trade on Tuesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT).

Analysts expect Crude Oil inventories dropped by around 2.7 million barrels at the end of last week, while gasoline supplies are seen decreasing by about 1.4 million barrels and distillates are forecast to fall about 131,000 barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 7.89 million barrels in the week ended August 4.

The API report also showed a gain of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks fell by 157,000 barrels.

There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA.
Meanwhile, officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee said on Tuesday that they expect greater compliance with their output-cutting pact.

According to recent calculations, compliance fell to 86% in July, the lowest level since January.
OPEC and 10 producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed since the start of the year to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018 in order to reduce a global supply glut and rebalance the market.

However, so far, the deal has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, as well as a relentless increase in U.S. shale output.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for September was little changed at $1.602 a gallon, while September heating oil ticked down 0.8 cents to $1.620 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for September delivery shed half a cent to $2.818 per million British thermal units.

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Forex - Dollar remains moderately lower vs. other majors - SapForex24

The dollar remained moderately lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, as trading was expected to remain quiet with no major U.S. data expected throughout the day, although Friday’s strong U.S. jobs report still lent some support.

The greenback continued te be supported by Friday’s strong nonfarm payrolls data, which fueled expectations the Federal Reserve will stick to its plans for a third interest rate hike this year.

The U.S. Labor Department on Friday said the economy added 209,000 jobs last month, blowing past expectations for an increase of 183,000.

Investors were now eyeing U.S. inflation reports later in the week for indications of whether the recovery in the dollar is sustainable in the longer term.

EUR/USD added 0.13% to 1.1811 but gains were expected to remain limited after data showed that German exports fell by 2.8% in June, snapping five months of gains. It was the biggest drop since August 2015.

German imports dropped by 4.5%, the largest decline since January 2009. That drove Germany’s trade surplus up to €21.1 billion, from €20.3 billion in May, a 10-month high.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD held steady at 1.3043, just off the previous session’s one-and-a-half week low of 1.3014.

USD/JPY slipped 0.19% to 110.54, while USD/CHF was little changed at 0.9727.

The Australian dollar was stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.20% at 0.7929, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7359.

Earlier Tuesday, the National Australia Bank said its business confidence index rose to 12 in July from a reading of 9 the previous month.

Separately, official data showed that China’s exports increased by 7.2% in July and imports climbed 11.0%. Both readings were slightly below analysts’s projections
China is Australia’s biggest export partner.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slipped 0.14% to trade at 1.2664, not far from Monday’s three-week high of 1.2714.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.13% at 93.18, still close to Friday’s one-week high of 93.64.

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