Oil slips further below US$80 on talk of easing output curbs

May 27, 2018, 01:16
Oil slips further below US$80 on talk of easing output curbs

"The chat is still that OPEC will do something at its June meeting in reaction to the looming prospect of a fall in crude production and exports from both Iran and Venezuela as the year progresses", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader.

Global oil prices fell Friday after top producer Saudi Arabia signalled a likely boost in supply as soon as the third quarter, and world stock markets were mixed over the sudden USA move to cancel the summit with North Korea.

The EIA said U.S. oil inventories jumped 5.8 million barrels, versus expectations of a 2 million barrel drawdown.

Oil prices fell about US$3 per barrel on Friday as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation discussed easing supply curbs that have helped push crude prices to their highest since 2014.

USA crude oil production for yet another week for week ending May 11-the most recent data available-increased to 10.723 million bpd, according to the EIA.

Yesterday, industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported that United States crude supplies fell by 1.3 million barrels for the week ended May 1.

"However, now that we are getting closer to $100/bbl the net impact of higher oil prices is again becoming a net negative", UBS economists said in a research note.

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih had insisted that the higher prices were sentiment-driven, which is to say an exaggerated run up relative to the underlying fundamentals of supply and demand.

Surplus oil supplies in the world's biggest economy swelled by 5.78 million barrels last week, and gasoline inventories expanded by 1.88 million, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent crude futures fell 61 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to US$79.19 (RM315) a barrel by 11.24am EDT (1524 GMT).

Domestic production edged up to 10.725 million barrels per day from 10.723 million bpd in the prior week, EIA said.

The increase in hedging suggests that oil prices are flirting with a pain threshold for consumers, a potentially ominous sign for OPEC, which always keeps a watchful eye on demand growth.

However, the bulls would argue that such reversal-looking patterns continue to fail to work against a strong fundamental backdrop, with OPEC producing less oil than agreed and sanctions on Iran point to further declines in OPEC production.

The United States Oil ETF (NYSEARCA: USO) traded down about 0.9% to $14.43, in a 52-week range of $8.65 to $14.74.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil settled mixed on Tuesday with U.S. crude posting a loss and Brent closing higher.

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