Oil Futures Slip ahead of Jobless Claims as Stocks Rise
WASHINGTON, D.C. (DTN) -- Crude and refined products futures on the New York
Mercantile Exchange and the Brent contact on the Intercontinental Exchange
shifted lower in early trade Thursday after American Petroleum Institute data
showed a surprise build in U.S. commercial crude supplies during the week-ended
Jan. 15, while continued weakness in U.S. dollar index and expectations for
deeper public spending under Biden's administration buoyed sentiment in broader
markets, lifting global equities to all-time highs.
U.S. dollar index fell 0.35% against a basket of its global peers to trade
near 90.150 as broader risk sentiment improved and traders continued to factor
in the costs of trillions in new spending from the Biden administration. U.S.
equity futures are positioning to reset record highs Thursday after notching
the strongest Inauguration Day gains in nearly 40 years.
Markets will keep a close eye this morning on weekly unemployment claims due
out 8:30 AM ET after last week's figures unexpectedly jumped to nearly one
million claims -- the highest since late March. Consensus calls for first-time
jobless applications to ease slightly from the previous week to 890,000, while
continued claims are expected at 5.3 million in the week ended Jan. 8. The
worse-than-expected figures offer further evidence the U.S. economy is
struggling to contain the fallout from the pandemic as the ongoing surge in new
infections shutters businesses operations across the country.
President Joe Biden is expected to unveil Thursday a series of policy
changes to unify the federal approach on virus testing as well as boosting
government's ability to provide rapid vaccine distribution. The new
administration's goal of immunizing 100 million people in Biden's first 100
days in office will depend, at least in part, on Congressional approval of the
$1.9 trillion stimulus bill laid out last week. Several Republican lawmakers,
however, already singled their opposition to the massive spending bill that
could feed into expectations of higher inflation later this year.
Separately, the American Petroleum Institute late Wednesday reported U.S.
commercial crude oil supplies rose 2.562 million bbl in the week-ended Jan. 15
versus calls for a draw of 1.3 million bbl while stocks at the Cushing,
Oklahoma hub slid 4.285 million bbl.
Gasoline stockpiles built by 1.129 million bbl, below calls for a 2.1
million bbl gain while distillate inventories added 816,000 bbl, less than a
projected 1.1 million bbl gain.
The closely watched inventory report from the U.S. Energy Information
Administration is scheduled this week for an 11 AM ET release on Friday,
delayed two days due to Inauguration Day.
Near 7:30 AM ET, West Texas Intermediate futures for March delivery traded
near $53 bbl, and the March Brent contract on ICE slid 32cts to below $56 bbl
at $55.76 bbl. NYMEX February ULSD futures traded modestly lower near $1.5920
gallon and February RBOB futures slid 0.65cts from Wednesday's $1.5439 gallon
Liubov Georges, 1.646.359.4088, email@example.com, http://www.dtn.com
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