TSX May Open Higher As Oil Rises on Inventory Data

Will US Crude Oil and Gasoline Inventories Support Oil Prices

Brent crude futures moved in and out of negative territory this morning following a 0.8% decline yesterday, a sell-off that was sparked by higher USA production.

US energy firms cut oil rigs for a second week in three, the Baker Hughes energy services firm reported, with drillers cutting spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices. Domestic crude oil production increased 0.9 percent from June and was up by 8.6 percent from July 2016 to average 9.4 million barrels per day in July. Data released Wednesday showing that USA crude output to 9.502 million barrels a day last week weighed on the market. This was despite the sudden rise in US production which is nearing a two-year high.

"What should be worrying about this seeming impasse for OPEC is that there is also a clear downside bias to crude, as a continued decline in USA crude stocks at the feverish pace seen since April this year looks unlikely beyond the summer peak demand season, while expectations of a persistent global supply glut have taken a firm hold", she said.

Crude inventories fell by 8.95 million barrels in the last week, almost three times analysts' expectations for a decrease of 3.1 million barrels. Some pointed to the 678,000-barrel increase in Cushing, Okla., stocks as they rose to a hefty 57 million barrels.

N.Korean nuclear ICBM a 'red line': Moon
Moon has repeatedly urged North Korea not to "cross the red line " but had not previously elaborated what that would constitute. If carried out, it would be the North's most provocative missile launch to date.

Last month, oil prices touched the $50 level after USA crude oil production fell for the fourth straight week easing concerns regarding the country's growing influence over the global oil market. The demand for oil products supplied during the last four-week period averaged a whopping 21.2 million barrels per day, up by 2.0% over a year ago. "Brent spreads are ripping, USA crude stocks are drawing rapidly". Stockpiles declined for a seventh week to 466.5-million barrels.

Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, said the market was now starting to act in "a more logical way", suggesting the recent drawdown in USA inventories was nothing more than a short-lived "optical illusion".

Oil prices dipped on Friday as part of a broad-based selloff across markets, and despite signs that crude markets are gradually tightening. There are three tropical waves that will impact oil shipments and have the potential to disrupt oil and gas production next week.

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