Economy

Oil prices edge down after United States inventory data

Oil prices edge down after United States inventory data

World oil prices fell on Friday on the data on the growth of oil production and gasoline reserves in the U.S.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, had slipped 7 cents to $69.31 by 0943 GMT. On Monday, they hit their highest since December 2014 at $70.37. US crude was up 2 cents at $63.99 and reached its highest since December 2014 on Tuesday. WTI marked a December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel on Tuesday.

"The impact of such a threat, if carried out, would be significant on the global supply and demand balance", said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

On Wednesday, a monthly report from OPEC also highlighted the trend of higher North American production, pointing out that improved technology had helped producers in the region lower their breakeven costs.

United States crude oil stocks slipped for a ninth straight week, following a record drawdown at the U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday. The IEA said it expects this to soon exceed 10 million bpd, overtaking OPEC behemoth Saudi Arabia and rivalling Russian Federation.

"The upside is now limited for oil prices", said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at brokerage Forex.com.

More news: Q3 2017 Sentiment Putnam Master Income Trust (NYSE:PMT)

ANZ bank said “an upcoming soft patch in demand and extreme investor positioning does open up the possibility of some short-term weakness”.

Overall, however, oil prices remain well supported, and most analysts do not expect steep declines. However, Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.5 million barrels per day, up by 5.6 percent from the same period of previous year.

The supply cuts by OPEC and its allies, which are scheduled to last throughout 2018, were aimed at tightening the market to prop up prices.

Crude oil inventories took a bullish dip, dropping by 6.9 million barrels last week for a ninth consecutive week of declines.

In 2019, EIA expects crude oil production to continue to increase, reaching an average of 10.8 million b/d.


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