Crude Oil Brent (F) Futures Market News and Commentary
Aug WTI crude oil (CLQ19) on Thursday closed down -1.48 (-2.61%), and Sep Brent crude oil (CBU19) closed down -1.73 (-2.72%). Aug RBOB gasoline (RBN19) closed down -0.0445 (-2.37%). The energy complex sold off Thursday with Aug WTI crude and Sep Brent crude at 4-week lows and Aug RBOB gasoline at a 3-week low on concern about increased supplies and mixed demand. The energy complex retreated Thursday on the outlook for increased Russian crude production after Russian pipeline operator Transneft PJSC said it had resumed full flows from Russia's largest crude producer, Rosneft PJSC, which had stopped sending crude through Transneft pipelines on Monday due to technical issues. Demand concerns also weighed on the energy complex after Thursday's U.S. June leading indicators report unexpectedly fell -0.3%, the biggest decline in nearly 3-1/2 years, which was negative for the U.S. economy and energy demand. The energy complex remained on the defensive from Wednesday's EIA report that showed that gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly rose +3.565 million bbl (vs expectations for a -2.4 million bbl draw) and that distillate supplies rose +5.686 million bbl (vs expectations of +1.0 million bbl). Crude prices bounced up from their worst levels after President Trump Thursday afternoon said the USS Boxer naval vessel destroyed an Iranian drone near the Strait of Hormuz. Middle East tensions remain high after Iran on Thursday admitted that it seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf on Sunday. Wednesday's EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of July 12 were +5.3% above the 5-year average, gasoline inventories were +2.1% above the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -1.5% below the 5-year average.