Oil down ahead of US data

LONDON, May 1, 2018 – Crude prices were under pressure on Tuesday, as investors turned their attention to fresh data on U.S. commercial crude inventories to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (2030GMT). Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock gain of around 1.2 million barrels.

New York-traded WTI crude futures shed 68 cents, or roughly 1%, to $67.89 a barrel by 9:10AM ET (1310GMT), after settling up 47 cents on Monday.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., dipped 65 cents, or about 0.9%, to $74.04 a barrel, following a gain of 53 cents in the last session.


Oil prices, which aren’t far from 2014 highs, surged on Monday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented what he called evidence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Netanyahu’s remarks come less than two weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump must decide whether to continue suspending sanctions against Iran or restore penalties on one of the world’s biggest oil producers.

The Trump administration has until May 12 to make a decision. If sanctions are reinstated, that could contribute to tighter global oil inventories.

In other energy trading, gasoline futures slumped around 1% to $2.106 a gallon, while heating oil dropped 1.1% to $2.126 a gallon.

Natural gas futures were up 1.4% at $2.804 per million British thermal units.

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