Oil holds above $63 as investors watch U.S. risk

08 April, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Lora Ball
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In New York, US light prices were down by $0.47 at $63.04 per barrel in mid-day trading.

"Equities have been the most significant external driver for the short-term price direction of oil, with the significant volatility coming (partly) from the perception of a trade war", said Dominic Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute in NY.

While the UAE's energy minister says efforts by OPEC and its allies have removed "85% of the problem" of oversupply, surging American production continues to remain a thorn for the group. Total volume traded today was about 23 per cent below the 100-day average.

Brent for June settlement declined 2 cents to $68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after slipping 10 cents on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 14 cents to $63.50 a barrel. The global benchmark crude traded at a $4.62 premium to June WTI. Prices erased most of their losses on Wednesday after data showed supplies stored in USA tanks shrank the most since January, in contrast to a forecast for a 2 million-barrel gain.

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The fall had exceed $1 per barrel before losses were pared by U.S. data released mid-morning showing a reduction of 4.6 million barrels to 425.3 million barrels in the previous week's crude inventories.

Before the rebound late on Wednesday, after the release of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data, WTI and Brent had hit two-week lows after China proposed a broad range of tariffs on US exports, feeding fears of a trade war.

In the USA, crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell 3.28 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report. The country's crude production rose in March despite the output deal, to 10.97 million barrels per day (bpd) from 10.95 million bpd in February, Russian Energy Ministry data showed, keeping Russia ahead of the United States as the world's biggest crude producer.

Moreover, the oil output in Venezuela continues to decline. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

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