Oil pulls back as traders bet on fourth weekly rise in U.S. crude stocks


Oil futures were heading for a third straight decline on Tuesday, with US benchmark crude trading below subsequent futures, as traders bet domestic crude supplies climbed for a fourth straight week , following the deep freeze in Texas last month.

Oil prices fell as “US refiners struggle to rebound from Texas electricity crisis” in mid-February when the state was hit by freezing temperatures, said Phil Flynn, senior analyst market at The Price Futures Group. “The expectations of another raw construction are holding us back.”

The Energy Information Administration reported last week that U.S. crude inventories rose 13.8 million barrels for the week ended March 5. .

On average, analysts expect to see another increase in crude supply, albeit more modest, of 400,000 barrels when the EIA releases its figures on Wednesday for the week ended March 12, according to an S&P survey. Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute, a trading group, will release its own data Tuesday evening.

Raw West Texas Intermediate for delivery in April
CL.1,
-1.96%

CLJ21,
-1.96%

was down $ 1.37, or 2.1%, to $ 64.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The May WTI contract
CLK21,
-1.91%

changed hands at $ 64.11 and traded at a premium to the neighboring month for three sessions, a condition known as contango, which may encourage investors to stockpile oil for later sale.

“A bearish contango structure for WTI is not surprising, given the strong [in inventories] over the past two weeks, ”said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

Mai Brent gross
BRN00,
-1.61%

BRNK21,
-1.61%
,
the global benchmark, fell $ 1.12, or 1.6%, to $ 67.76 per barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Crude futures have rocked the rise in inventories previously, helped by sharp declines in gasoline and other commodities. But analysts said the size of the build-up, an ever-firmer tone for the US dollar, a troubled vaccine rollout in Europe and nervousness over the potential of COVID-19 variants to cause problems in the United States. , were enough to cool a crude rally that has seen both WTI and Brent rise more than 30% year-to-date.

“The outlook for crude demand remains the key to rising prices and if short-term risks continue to grow due to the virus variants, oil prices could see a slight decline of 10%,” Moya said.

Among the petroleum products traded on Nymex, April gasoline
RBJ21,
-0.58%

lost 0.7% to $ 2.09 per gallon and April fuel oil
HOJ21,
-1.48%

throw 1.5% at $ 1.92 per gallon.

The S&P Global Platts analyst survey also expects the EIA to announce weekly supply cuts of 1.4 million barrels for gasoline and 900,000 barrels for distillates on Wednesday.

Avril natural gas
NGJ21,
+ 1.49%

was trading at $ 2.52 per million British thermal units, up 1.4%.



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