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Crude Oil Brent Apr '19 (CBJ19)

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Crude Oil Brent Futures Market News and Commentary

Crude Oil Declines on Expectations of Lower Supplies and Weak Global Manufacturing Data

Apr WTI crude oil (CLJ19) this morning is down -$0.27 (-0.47%) per barrel and Apr Brent crude (CBJ19) is down -$0.24 (-0.36%). Apr RBOB gasoline (RBJ19) is down -0.51 cents per gallon (-0.29%). Apr WTI crude fell back from a new 3-month high and the rest of the energy complex is lower this morning on the outlook for increased crude supplies. Today's weekly EIA crude oil inventories are expected to increase by +3.0 million bbl, the fifth consecutive weekly increase. Also, weakness in equity prices this morning is weighing on energy prices. Signs of a slowdown in global manufacturing activity is another negative factor for energy prices after the Eurozone Feb Markit manufacturing PMI fell -1.3 to a 5-1/2 year low of 49.2, and the Japan Feb Nikkei manufacturing PMI fell -1.8 to a 2-1/2 year low of 48.5. Finally, concern about the U.S. economy kept pressure on energy prices after today's Feb Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey fell -21.1 to a 2-3/4 year low of -4.1. The energy complex rallied to 3-month highs on Wednesday after the dollar index tumbled to a 2-week low and on Tuesday's report that Saudi Arabian crude exports fell sharply by -1.3 million bpd in the first half of Feb compared with the same period last month. On the negative side is weaker compliance with crude output cuts as Jan OPEC+ compliance with crude production cuts was only 83%. In addition, the EIA on Tuesday raised its U.S. Feb shale oil production forecast by +1.6% to 8.31 million bpd from a prior estimate of 8.18 million bpd and raised its U.S. March shale oil production estimate by 84,000 bpd (+1.0%) to 8.4 million bpd.
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