Pubdate：2018-12-29 11:56:27 Source： JESSICA SUMMERS Click： 494 times
NEW YORK (Bloomberg) — Crude hovered near $45/bbl following a U.S. government report showing a fourth straight decline in oil stockpiles.
Futures in New York edged up after the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 46,000 bbl last week, the smallest decrease since 2011. The decline was viewed positively following the American Petroleum Institute’s reported 6.92-MMbbl crude build on Thursday.
Meanwhile, gasoline stockpiles rose by the most since June, while crude production also increased, keeping price rallies limited.
“We were expecting a pretty meaningful build,” so even though the stockpile decline was small, “it was a bit of a relief for the market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion in energy assets at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “Oil is largely just trading with the broader market sentiment and a little less on the fundamentals.”
Crude oil and the equity market have swung between large gains and steep losses this week as uncertainty persists over the global economy and turmoil in Washington carries on. Oil is on track for its worst quarterly loss since 2014 amid global growth fears and doubts over the effectiveness of OPEC’s production-cut agreement.
“Year-end trading has been volatile before, and at this moment in time we do not want to be too quick in reading a whole lot into the price action of the last few days,” said analysts at consultant JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna.
West Texas Intermediate crude for February added 25 cents to $44.86/bbl at 11:25 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded Friday was 17% below the 100-day average. Futures are poised for a 1.6% weekly decline.
Brent for February settlement, which will expire Friday, slid 14 cents to $52.02/bbl on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more-active March contract fell 17 cents to $52.56. February futures traded at a $7.21 premium to WTI for the same month.
The EIA data also showed gasoline stockpiles climbed by about 3 MMbbl last week and crude production jumped to 11.7 MMbpd. Distillate inventories rose by 2,000 bbl.