Oil eases off one-month peak as traders eye Cushing build, U.S. supply

Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:50pm EDT
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By Jessica Resnick-Ault and Julia Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil futures fell on Wednesday, pulling back after eight straight sessions of gains after U.S. crude inventory data suggested the market was still heavily supplied.

Traders focused on preliminary U.S. production estimates in the weekly EIA report that suggested domestic output is still climbing. The report also showed stockpiles at the U.S. crude hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, rose 276,000 barrels in the week.

Brent crude futures settled down 37 cents to $55.86 a barrel after hitting a one-month high of $56.65.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 29 cents and settled at $53.11 a barrel after touching the highest since March 7 at $53.76.

Both contracts had jumped to the highest in more than a month after Saudi Arabia was reported to be pushing fellow OPEC members and some rivals to prolong supply cuts beyond June.

Analysts and traders said long-term fundamentals remained strong and more stockpile draw-downs are likely as refiners exit maintenance season.

"Crude inventories at Cushing rose 0.28 million barrels (mb) to 69.42 mb; however, this leaves just over 10mb of available storage before operational efficiency starts to be compromised," Standard Chartered said in a note.

"We do not expect inventories to reach this point, particularly with the added downward pressure on Midwest inventories from the reduction in Canadian flows."   Continued...

FILE PHOTO: A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield, California October 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson