Crude oil prices hover near 1-week lows in cautious trade

03 March, 2018, 06:22 | Author: Manuel Hopkins
  • Forecasts for Oil Prices Rise for Fifth Straight Month

"OPEC's level of compliance (with agreed production curbs) and the pace of US shale's output growth are likely to be the key fundamental price drivers in 2018", Ashley Petersen of Stratas Advisors said.

"For now though, the gains in USA supply are prevailing in shaping sentiment in the oil market, other analysts said". The firm's weekly data on the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S.is seen as a bellwether for activity in the sector.

Traders said oil prices declined on concerns a slowdown in global economic growth after China reported on Wednesday that factory growth in February slowed to the lowest since July 2016. It pledged to pump not more than 2.87 million barrels a day on average over the life of the accord.

Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute believes shale's output has downside since carbon emission rose in 2017, "after the previous three years saw near zero growth". The contract fell 1.4% on Thursday.

The U.A.E.'s average compliance with the cuts accord has been 62 percent, though the rate improved to 117 percent in January from 103 percent in December, according to the International Energy Agency. The kingdom also hoped OPEC and its allies would be able to relax output curbs next year and create a permanent framework to stabilize oil markets after the current agreement on supply cuts ends this year. Oilfield guards are protesting against low pay and the lack of additional benefits.

Oil production in Venezuela may further collapse if the USA expands sanctions to include the oil industry and restricts US exports of oil products.

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On Thursday, oil followed the stock market lower after President Donald Trump said he would impose hefty tariffs to protect US producers. Currently, sanctions target separate individuals from the Nicolas Maduro government as well as a ban on USA banks and other institutions buying Venezuelan debt.

China is the world's second-biggest economy and the biggest importer of oil. US output was 10.28 million barrels per day (bpd) last week: higher than the latest figures for Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter, and just below Russian Federation.

US crude output slipped in the last month of 2017, but in November hit an all-time high of 10.057 million barrels per day.

Oil closed lower amid a selloff in equity markets and growing concern about increasing US crude production.

Oil prices were marginally lower in Europe's morning trading session Friday, after three straight days of losses amid bearish cues from crude inventory data this week and lower equities following President Trump's announcement on planned U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. "It's not clear yet who will be the victor as USA oil production keeps going higher despite the OPEC cuts".

"Ever since we had that extreme sell-off by equity markets a couple of weeks ago, oil prices seem to have one eye on the activity of the equity markets and have been under a strong influence of the United States dollar", said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. "Were getting a little softening in the stock markets in response to some of the Fed comments", said Ritterbusch.

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