March 29, 2017

Oil Prices Rally on Report of Drop in US Inventory

18 March 2017, 01:30 | Ignacio Smith

Oil Prices Rally on Report of Drop in US Inventory

Oil prices extend gains after drop in US stockpiles

"People tomorrow are going to be looking at what the Fed says after the meeting, what the rationale is for their move, and what they say about their balance sheet", said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. "There was none of that in the statement", John Canally, investment strategist and economist at LPL Financial in Boston.

"Inflation has been rising and the U.S. economy is near full employment, equity markets are also up, despite the Fed rate hike in December and as such, the Fed had a green light to raise rates".

The loonie was trading at 74.81 US cents after the announcement, rising 0.78 per cent or 0.58 cents on the day. The current volume of the stocks according to the Energy Information Administration will rise next week, because 8 rigs returned to drill oil last week.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.2 per cent as higher prices for copper and other industrial metals boosted base metal miners. Bloomberg points out that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup are all sticking to their predictions of moderate price gains this year. The higher level of compliance by OPEC is partially offset by Russian Federation only reducing production by 100 Mbbl/d (in comparison with the agreed reduction of 300 Mbbl /d).

"Market focus remains centred on escalating USA production growth and elevated domestic inventory levels, but this is not representative of the rest of the world". "This week is crucial to give us an idea of where prices will be for the rest of the year - all eyes will be on API data later, and a sniff of another big crude build and down we go towards $45", said Matt Stanley, commodities broker at Freight Investor Services. This certainly doesn't bode well for energy stocks for the foreseeable future.

Europe markets also focused on Dutch elections, where anti-EU firebrand candidate Geert Wilders is providing the latest test of anti-establishment and anti-EU sentiment.

In a further sign that OPEC's efforts have had little impact so far, oil shipments to Asia have increased 3 percent since the OPEC supply cut deal was made. Saudi Arabia appears to feel the same: After reducing its production to 9.8 million barrels a day in January, it said today that it tacked back on over 10 million in February-which was the news that pushed down prices this morning.

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"We have not seen production cuts undertaken by the world's producers really alleviate the overhang in inventories", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Brent futures rose 83 cents to $51.75 a barrel by 11:16 EDT (1516 GMT). The global benchmark on Tuesday settled at its lowest level since November 30.

It's likely US crude inventories will increase during the rest of seasonal refinery maintenance season, Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA NY, said by telephone. The fallout: US gasoline inventories rose to a record 259 million barrels in the week ended February 10. Sadly for oil bulls, after seeing output in non-OPEC nations fall between 2015 and 2016, this year we should see output grow by 0.53 million barrels per day. Brent spiked above $58 in early January.

The data, he added, also suggests that oil prices around $50 a barrel are encouraging the restart of idled USA shale oil output.

Oil prices cracked sharply last week, as optimism about markets achieving balance faded amid stubbornly high USA inventories and rising U.S. output.

Analysts at Citi also believe that the USA inventory level will come down as more refineries come online.

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