Oil Futures Mixed in Choppy Trade, EIA Data Disappoints
Washington, D.C. (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest delivery on the New York
Mercantile Exchange and Intercontinental Exchange Brent crude settled mostly
lower, after Brent breached the $72 resistance point in a back and forth trade
Wednesday while government supply data failed to push the market to the upside.
The Energy Information Administration said mid-morning that U.S. commercial
crude inventories fell 1.4 million bbl in the week ended April 12, below the
3.096 million drawdown reported late Tuesday by the American Petroleum
EIA reported a ninth straight drop in domestic gasoline supplies, down 1.174
million bbl last week to 227.955 million bbl, the lowest level in 19 weeks.
However, data also detailed a substantial decline in implied gasoline demand
last week to 9.420 million bpd, 4.2% below the corresponding week a year ago.
For the four-weeks ended April 12, implied gasoline demand at 9.370 million
bpd was 0.2% below the corresponding four-week period last year.
Oil futures were lifted in early morning trade by a slew of bullish economic
figures from China, pointing to recovery in the world's second largest economy
after months of sluggish growth. China's National Bureau of Statistics said on
Wednesday the economy expanded 6.4% in the first quarter against a year ago,
supported by better-than-expected industrial output and retails sales. Data
showed manufacturing output surged 8.5% year-on-year in March, the fastest
growth since July 2014, while retail sales for March grew by 8.7% year-on-year,
exceeding market expectations for 8.4% increase. China's refinery throughput
rate also increased by a better-than-expected 3.2% in March, indicating a
strong fuel demand from an Asian economic giant.
Market observers credited the strong growth in Chinese economy to stimulus
measures announced by Beijing last year to prop up the ailing economy.
The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that economic activity in the United
States grew at a slight-to moderate pace in March and in early April. Across
all of the Fed's 12 districts, consumer spending was sluggish, as prices rose
on the back of tariffs and higher freight rates. Earlier this week, the Fed
said industrial output fell 0.1% in March, pulled down by trade tensions with
China and slowing global economy. Federal data showed manufacturing production
fell at 1.1% in the first quarter, while U.S. economic output slowed to a 2.2%
in the last three months of 2018 from 3.4% in the third quarter, pointing to a
downward vector in domestic economy.
NYMEX May West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled $0.29 lower at
$63.76, while ICE June Brent crude settled down $0.10 at $71.62 bbl. NYMEX May
RBOB futures finished the session 1.01cts up at $2.0418 gallon, as NYMEX May
ULSD futures settled down 1.30cts to $2.0692 gallon.
Liubov Georges, 1.646.359.4088, email@example.com, www.dtn.com. (c)
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