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Gasoline RBOB Sep '19 (RBU19)

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Gasoline RBOB Futures Market News and Commentary

Oil Prices Fall Back on Concern about Progress in U.S./China Trade Talks

Oct WTI crude oil (CLV19) on Friday closed down by -0.04 (-0.07%), Nov Brent crude oil (CBX19) closed down by -0.12 (-0.19%), and Oct RBOB gasoline (RBV19) closed down -0.0223 (-1.31%). The energy complex moved lower Friday on a stronger dollar and uncertainty about progress in U.S./China trade talks. A stronger dollar weighed on the energy complex Friday, but losses accelerated Friday afternoon after a Chinese trade delegation canceled a planned trip to farms in the U.S. and headed back to China, raising concern about any progress in trade talks. Middle East tensions remain high, which may limit the downside in energy prices over the near-term. President Trump on Friday declined to say if he's planning for military action against Iran in retaliation for last Saturday's attacks on Saudi oil facilities, although he did say the U.S. Treasury will impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran. Iran's foreign minister on Thursday warned that any U.S. or Saudi strike on his country in response to Saturday's attack on Saudi oil installations would lead to "all-out war." Concerns remain about how soon Saudi Arabia can resume production at its damaged oil facilities. Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing facility on Wednesday said it had recovered to 41% of capacity or to 2 million bpd and Aramco said crude processing at Abqaiq will return to the pre-attack level of about 4.9 million bpd by the end of the month. A supportive factor for crude prices was weekly data from Baker Hughes Friday afternoon that showed active U.S. oil rigs fell by -14 the week ended Sep 20 to 719, the fewest in 2-1/4 years. Crude prices on Monday surged to 3-3/4 month highs after Saudi Arabia lost about half of its oil production output (i.e., 5 mln bpd of total 9.8 mln bpd production), representing about 5% of total world output, due to a drone/missile attack and fire at its key Abqaiq oil processing facility on Saturday. Wednesday’s weekly EIA data showed that U.S. crude oil inventories as of Sep 13 were -0.8% below the seasonal 5-year average, gasoline inventories were +3.8% above the 5-year average, and distillate inventories were -5.6% below the 5-year average. U.S. crude production in the week ended Sep 13 was unchanged at 12.4 million bpd, just below the record high of 12.5 million bpd in the week of Aug 23. Big Picture Crude Oil Market Factors: Bullish factors include (1) attacks on Saudi Arabia's key Abqaiq oil processing facility that cut Saudi Arabia's oil production by half (i.e., 5 mln bpd of total 9.8 mln bpd production), representing about 5% of total world output, (2) the agreement by OPEC+ to extend its production cut agreement by 9 months until March 2020, (3) the -130,000 bpd decline in OPEC July crude production to a 5-1/2 year low of 29.87 million bpd, (4) heightened Persian Gulf tensions, and (5) the sharp drop in Iranian oil production from U.S. sanctions and in Venezuela oil production from U.S. sanctions and the economic crisis. Bearish factors include (1) the recent rally in the dollar index to a 2-year high, (2) global trade tensions that may drag global growth and energy demand lower, (3) the recent surge in U.S. oil production to a record high of 12.5 million bpd, and (4) near-average current supplies with U.S. crude oil inventories -0.8% below the 5-year average.
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