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Crude Oil Brent Jun '19 (CBM19)

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Crude Oil Brent Futures Market News and Commentary

Crude Oil Retreats from 4-1/4 Month High on Demand Concerns

May WTI crude oil (CLK19) on Thursday closed down -$0.25 (-0.42%) per barrel and May Brent crude (CBJ19) closed down -$0.85 (-1.24%). May RBOB gasoline (RBK19) closed down -0.32 cents per gallon (-0.176%). The energy complex moved lower Thursday as May WTI crude and May Brent crude retreated from fresh 4-1/4 month highs posted in overnight trade. A stronger dollar Thursday undercut on energy prices as did U.S. economic concerns that weighed on energy demand prospects after the FOMC on Wednesday cut its U.S. 2019 GDP estimate to 2.1% from a Dec projection of 2.3%. Crude prices early Thursday rallied to a new 4-1/4 month high in overnight trade on positive carry-over from Wednesday's bullish EIA report. The EIA reported Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly plunged -9.59 million bbl last week, much weaker than expectations for a +1.75 million bbl build. Also, product supplies tumbled after EIA gasoline stockpiles fell -4.587 million bbl, a bigger decline than expectations of -2.5 million bbl, and distillate inventories fell -4.127 million bbl, much more than expectations of -1.5 million bbl. The energy complex still has support from Monday when Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that OPEC+ members are conforming well to the crude production cuts they agreed to in January and that compliance with the cuts will easily exceed 100 percent in March. In a bearish factor, however, Russia is insisting that OPEC+ delay a decision until June on extending the 1H production cuts into 2H, suggesting that Russia may be reluctant to extend its production cuts.
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