Markets > Commodities

Oil prices go down amid U.S. crude stockpiles up

2018-10-22 09:11

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After experiencing the biggest weekly loss in six months last week, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price for November delivery and Brent oil price for December delivery lost 3.7 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, during the week ending Oct. 19.

In the previous week ending Oct. 12, WTI and Brent lost 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively and WTI and Brent settled at 71.34 U.S. dollars and 80.43 dollars per barrel, respectively, at the end of the week.

On Tuesday, the major benchmarks continued their gains. WTI rose 0.14 dollar to settle at 71.92 dollars a barrel and Brent advanced 0.63 dollar to 81.41 dollars per barrel.
Oil prices slumped on Wednesday, while U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose by 6.5 million barrels for the fourth straight week, led by a notable increase in inventories at the Cushing hub, Oklahoma, the United States.

U.S. gasoline and distillate stockpiles fell by 2 million barrels and 800,000 barrels respectively, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
Oil prices kept falling on Thursday, as a larger-than-expected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles continued to weigh on the market. WTI dropped 1.10 dollars, while Brent lost 0.76 dollars.

A heavy sell-off in global equity markets also rattled nervous investors, with all the three major U.S. indices slumping over 1.7 percent in late trading on Thursday.

According to the EIA report released on Thursday, 2018 rupture of Enbridge's BC natural gas pipeline near Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, continues to affect natural gas supply, electricity generation and petroleum refining in the United States.

U.S. Imports of natural gas through the pipeline, which in the first half of the year averaged 1.1 billion cubic feet (31.1 million cubic meters) per day at the Sumas hub import point, fell to zero for a day after the rupture.

However, oil prices rallied on Friday as a weaker U.S. dollar made the dollar-priced commodity more attractive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.20 percent at 95.7118 in late trading session on Friday.

Oil prices rally on Friday also showed signs of surging demand in China, the world's No. 2 oil consumer. Moreover, some analysts said that traders bought the dip following the sell-offs also provided some upward jolts to the market.

Meanwhile, the number of rigs operating in U.S. oil fields rose by four to a total of 873 rigs in the week ending Oct. 19. And at end of the week, WTI picked up 0.47 dollar to settle at 69.12 dollars a barrel and Brent gained 0.49 dollar to 79.78 dollars per barrel.

In the coming weeks, the market has also been focused on U.S. sanctions on Iran, which will take effect on Nov. 4 and are designed to cut crude exports from the country.

Meanwhile, the market will focus on the news of any meeting between officials from China and the United States aiming at seeking solution to the ongoing trade tensions.
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