Monday, 18 March, 2019

WTI extends the rally near $50.00 on trade hopes, looks to API

Oil Set for Longest Gain in 17 Months on U.S. Economy OPEC CutsMore Oil Set for Longest Gain in 17 Months on U.S. Economy OPEC CutsMore
Laurie Berry | 09 January, 2019, 11:28

Brent for March settlement gained 8 cents to $57.41 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange in London.

Still, U.S. oil supply is surging.

While the global benchmark, Brent crude oil was up $1 at $58.06 per barrel, having touched a session high of $58.90, the United States crude was up 88 cents at $48.84 a barrel.

"Very high Saudi and Russian production, in particular, has heightened supply volatility, so whether Opec and Russia maintain production discipline and renew agreements to limit output are key concerns going into the new year", said Steve Wood, Moody's managing director, oil and gas. "Momentum is coming back into the market from very depressed price levels", Petromatrix strategist Olivier Jakob said, according to Reuters.

OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, alongside other producers led by Russian Federation, agreed past year to rein in supplies starting from January after oil tumbled from above $86 on worries about surging output.

Oil prices rose by 2 percent on Monday, extending a rally from 18-month lows hit in December with support from OPEC production cuts and steadying equity markets.

"Surely, there will be more twists and turns in the saga and increasing USA tariffs on Chinese goods after March from 10 percent to 25 percent can not be excluded", Tamas Varga of PVM Oil Associates said.

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Oil extended its longest run of daily gains in 17 months on renewed efforts by the USA and China to reach a trade deal, and expectations the market will be tightened by OPEC's output cuts.

The API was also said to report that USA crude inventories fell by 6.13 MMbbl last week. However, global oil markets have largely discounted the cut so far, since it appears to not be enough to offset record production levels by the U.S., Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia that have been producing oil at reactant levels, with both the U.S. and Russian Federation breaching the 11 million b/d production point.

The America-China trade talks are showing signs of progress.

A separate government report scheduled for release on Wednesday is expected to show American crude stockpiles declined by 2.7 MMbbl last week, according to the median estimate in a survey of analysts by Bloomberg.

"The oil market is still pricing in a sharp slowdown in global growth despite our economists' forecast for resilient growth and robust late-2018 oil demand data", the investment bank said.

S&P Global Ratings said it had lowered its average oil price forecasts for 2019 by $10 per barrel to $55 and $50 per barrel for Brent and WTI, respectively.

Brent crude has risen by around $4 since the cuts came into force on 1 January.

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