Oil gains as Chinese factory data boosts commodities
14 March 2018, 08:48 | Devin Moran
Oil halted recent losses as investors weighed a potential increase in geopolitical tensions from the fallout of Rex Tillerson's ouster as USA secretary of state. That compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2 million barrels.
According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report by the EIA, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories of the week ending March 9 increased by five million barrels from the previous week.
Chinese oil production fell 1.9 percent in January and February to a daily rate of around 3.77 million barrels per day, while the amount of crude processed by refineries rose 7.3 percent to 93.4 million bpd, implying that its import demand will remain strong.
Over a year after the agreement was reached, the world's biggest oil-producing countries believe that a global oversupply of oil is still weighing down prices. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast supply declines of 500,000 barrels for gasoline and 1.6 million barrels for distillates. "We continue to just chop around here", said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy.
Moody's Investors Service today raised its medium-term price band for crude oil to United States dollars 45-65 per barrel from USD 40-60 as continued OPEC-led production restraint and strong global demand growth have contributed to declining global inventories, offsetting rapid increases in U.S. shale production. Gasoline futures surged 1% as stockpiles sank the most since September.
The EIA's report Wednesday showed that total US crude output edged up by 12,000 barrels to 10.381 million barrels a day last week.
"We are now only two to four weeks away from when weekly oil inventory data will start to draw again which should be supportive for oil prices", SEB commodities strategist Bjarne Schieldrop said.
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