Oil Prices Are Plunging Amid A Shocking Inventory Build-Up (USO)

18 November, 2017, 00:30 | Author: Terri Saunders
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December crude was down 69 cents, or 1.2%, from Tuesday to $55.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Inventories of rose by roughly 1.9 million barrels for the week ended November 11, missing expectations of a draw of 2.2 barrels.

Oil prices fell following the report, but were somewhat stronger before the figures were released.

WTI light sweet crude oil was down 60 cents at USD55.15 a barrel.

Oil prices held steady on Thursday, shrugging off the sudden rise of U.S. crude inventory data on hopes that an extended output cut decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will be the end result of its November meeting.

U.S. crude inventories added 1.9 million more barrels in the week to November 10, which was clearly different from analysts' forecast of a 2.2 million barrels decrease.

US crude stockpiles rose by 1.85 million barrels last week, according to the EIA report.

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Hedge funds and other speculative investors are more bullish than they've been in more than six months, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. "As we go into next year I think that will be the biggest problem coupled with the exit strategy from OPEC".

Oil has eased after reaching a two-year high last week on signs of tightening supplies and speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will extend output curbs past the end of March. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast supply declines of 1 million barrels for gasoline and 2 million barrels for distillates.

On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency cut its oil demand growth forecast by 100,000 barrels per day for both 2017 and 2018. Analysts had expected a drop of 500,000 barrels.

Despite these slight gains, Brent and WTI have lost about 4% in value since hitting 2015 highs last week, pulled down in part by rising crude availability in the US.

The EIA reported that gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly rose by 900,000 barrels last week, and distillate inventories fell by 800,000, more than analysts had predicted. Refinery utilization rates rose by 1.4 percentage points.

The uptick in United States crude production added to recent fears that USA producers are set to ramp up output after the IEA said on Tuesday that it expected global crude markets to remain oversupplied through the second quarter of 2018 amid an uptick in U.S. production.

-Christopher Alessi contributed to this article.

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