Analyzing US Gasoline Inventories and Demand

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That would be the largest increase since January 2016 if federal government data confirm it on Wednesday.

Crude oil prices lost ground early Wednesday on a build in USA gasoline supplies, an indication of lower demand, and fears about the global economy.

Oil prices had been on a long rally for most of the latter half of the year in anticipation of a decision from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on what to do with a production cut agreement aimed at draining the surplus in global oil inventories. Still, "I don't think gasoline demand is going to fall apart all of a sudden".

The draw may embolden oil bulls who were left wanting after the OPEC meeting failed to lift prices as many had hoped.

West Texas Intermediate for January delivery traded at $57.46 a barrel at 4:43 p.m. after settling at $57.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent was trading down 0.75% on the day at $62.92.

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Brent for February settlement lost 66 cents to $62.20/bbl on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, after adding 41 cents on Tuesday.

The non-commercial futures contracts of WTI ACrude Oil futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 609,833 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday November 28th.

The Energy Information Administration reported a 5.6-million-barrel draw in crude oil inventories for the week to December 1, largely in line with the American Petroleum Institute's estimate of a 5.481-million-barrel draw that was reported yesterday. Distillates rose by 4.26 million barrels.

Market surveys estimated that USA gasoline and distillate inventories could have risen by 1,741,000 barrels and 967,000 barrels during the same period. Inventories at Cushing probably slid by 2.4 million barrels, a separate forecast compiled by Bloomberg showed.

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