Oil takes a hit Thusrday as U.S. supplies rise a third week and global stock markets drop
By Mayra P. Saefong
Petroleumworld 10 11 2018
Oil futures dropped Thursday to log their lowest settlement month to date, after a report revealed a third-weekly rise in U.S. crude supplies.
Prices also suffered in the wake of a global equity rout that raised concerns about the economy and the outlook for energy demand.
“Inventory data has served to kick crude when it's already down,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. Crude supplies posted another build, in part due to a further drop in refinery runs, “at a time when prices were already getting swept up in the risk-off sentiment of broader markets.”
November West Texas Intermediate crude CLX8, +1.06% fell $2.20, or 3%, to settle at $70.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The global benchmark, Brent crude for December delivery LCOZ8, +1.07% on the ICE Europe exchange lost $2.83, or 3.4%, to $80.26 a barrel. Both benchmarks on Thursday saw their lowest settlements since Sept. 21, after dropping by more than 2% Wednesday , according to FactSet data.
The Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic crude supplies climbed by 6 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 5. The data were released a day later than usual because of Monday's Columbus Day holiday.
The increase was much larger than the 1.61 million-barrel increase forecast by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts, but it was significantly below the climb of 9.7 million barrels reported by the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday .
Gasoline stockpiles also rose by 1 million barrels last week, while distillate stockpiles declined by 2.7 million barrels, according to the EIA. The S&P Global Platts survey had shown expectations for a supply rise of 422,000 barrels in gasoline and 1.71 million-barrel decline in distillates.
On Nymex, November gasoline RBX8, +1.33% dropped by 4.3% to $1.933 a gallon—the lowest finish since March. November heating oil HOX8, +0.62% fell 2.6% to $2.332 a gallon.
Wall Street saw a sharp selloff Wednesday , raising concerns over the economy and the outlook for energy demand. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.13% dropped more than 3%. The S&P 500 SPX, -2.06% also fell more than 3%, marking the biggest drop for both gauges since February. On Thursday, the benchmark stock indexes extended their declines .
“With a risk-off posture across all assets classes, we could see this spill over to the energy markets,” said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital Advisors. And given the larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude supplies, and flat demand for gasoline, “we wouldn't be surprised to see a deeper selloff as the week comes to an end.”
Natural-gas futures also ended sharply lower Thursday, after settling a day earlier at their highest since January. Prices, however, showed little reaction to the latest U.S. supply data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Thursday that domestic supplies of natural gas rose by 90 billion cubic feet for the week ended Oct. 5. That matched the increase expected by analysts polled by S&P Global Platts.
November natural gas NGX18, +1.40% lost 1.9% to $3.222 per million British thermal units. It was trading at $3.193 before the supply data.
A monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries released Thursday, meanwhile, revealed a rise in OPEC and Russian crude-oil production in September, more than making up for a continuing decline in Iranian output ahead of the implementation of U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil industry.
Early Wednesday, the EIA boosted its forecast for U.S. oil production , which added another headwind, wrote Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, in a note. Oil futures also saw weakness that day as traders played down the potential impact of Hurricane Michael on energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico.
Story by Mayra P. Saefong from MarketWatch.
marketwatch.com 10 11 2018 19:17 GMT
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