Featured # Markets | 3 years ago

Crude Drops on Freeze Meeting Concerns and Robust Dollar

On Wednesday, crude futures priced lower on worries that an exporter conference, schedule for Sunday in Doha to deliberate capping production, will help little to clear glut and a firming dollar. Brent crude declined 46 cents at $44.23 a barrel at 8:14 a.m. ET (1214 GMT), followed reaching a four-month peak in the earlier session, when it closed up $1.86. U.S. crude dropped by 57 cents to $41.60 a barrel followed advancing $1.81 a day before. Comments by Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi in the al-Hayat newspaper in which he announced his country’s decision that an absolute output freeze was impossible weighed on prices.

“Forget about this topic,” al-Naimi stated in an interview, when questioned about any potential freeze in his country’s oil production. Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh might not join the Doha meeting but there will be an Iranian representative. Iran has already admitted it would not attend the freeze deal as it is looking for a boost of its output after the lift of sanction. Moreover, a strengthening U.S. dollar, which leads dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for other currencies holders and worries over mounting U.S. oil stockpiles also weigh on prices. According to figures from industry group the American Petroleum Institute on late Tuesday, U.S. crude inventories increased by 6.2 million barrels to 536.3 million last week, a build more than three times higher than analyst forecasts.

Official stockpile figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is schedule to release on late Wednesday. Some clues of climbing oil demand have seen as China’s oil imports, lifted by robust demand from independent refiners and better refining margins, surged 13.4 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, customs figures suggested on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stated the crude market should soar this summer due to the “driving season, but concerned that demand from chief economies would not be enough to slash the weakening in consumption elsewhere. “Looking ahead, global products markets are once again expected to receive support from gasoline demand ahead of the driving season,” mentioned in its monthly report. “However, unlike in the previous year, OPEC oil demand may not have sufficient strength to offset the continued slowdown in non-OPEC consumption.”

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