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Crude Oil Brent F May '19 (QAK19)

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Crude Oil Brent (F) Futures Market News and Commentary

Energy Complex Plummets on Trade-War Concerns

July WTI crude oil (CLN19) on Thursday closed down by -3.51 (-5.71%) and July Brent crude oil (CBN19) closed down by -3.23 (-4.55%). July RBOB gasoline (RBN19) closed down by -0.0765 (-3.89%). The energy complex sold off sharply Thursday with Jul WTI crude at a 2-1/4 month low and July Brent crude and Jul RBOB gasoline at 1-3/4 month lows. Demand concerns spurred fund selling in the energy complex as a worsening of the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, the world's two-biggest crude consumers, raised concern the global economy and energy demand will suffer. Trade talks between the U.S. and China appear to be stalled after China's Ministry of Commerce said, "if the U.S. wants to resume talks, they should show sincerity and correct their wrong practices." The energy complex was already on the defensive from Wednesday's bearish EIA report that showed U.S. crude inventories jumped +4.75 million bbl in the week of May 17 to a 1-3/4 year high of 476.775 million bbl and U.S. crude production rose +0.8% in the week of May 17 to 12.2 million bpd, just below the April 26 record high of 12.3 million bpd. Crude prices on Monday rallied to a 3-week high on the outlook for OPEC+ to extend its crude production cuts past June after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih urged OPEC+ members at a meeting in Jeddah over the weekend to "stay the course" on crude oil output cuts. Crude oil prices are also seeing underlying support from increased US/Iran tensions in the Middle East. Wednesday's EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of May 17 were +4.9% above the 5-year average, gasoline inventories were -0.5% below the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -3.7% below the 5-year average.

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