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From the Field

Oil prices fall further following past week’s loss

LONDON, May 27, 2019 – Oil prices continued to fall on Monday in Asia and extended losses from last week that came after an unexpected jump in crude stockpiles.

US Crude Oil WTI Futures were down 0.8% to $58.35 by 12:15 AM ET (04:15 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures slipped 0.1% to $61.40.

The oil markets posted their biggest weekly loss for the year after data showed a surprise surge in crude inventories build. On Thursday, WTI and Brent slumped 6% and 5% respectively, their worst losses since the beginning of the year. For the week, WTI ended the week almost 7% down while and Brent slid about 5%.

Despite last week’s losses, oil prices are still up substantially year-to-date, with US crude up about 29% and its UK peer ahead 27%.

 

Some analysts remained optimistic about oil’s comeback.

“Compliance of OPEC and its allies to the production-cut deal remains high, while production from Iran and Venezuela is likely to again trend lower this month,” UBS’s oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo said in a Reuters report.

Production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since the start of 2019 tightened the market and propped up prices, and were cited as a major tailwind for oil prices.

Meanwhile, the trade war between China and the US, the world’s biggest oil importers, remained in focus. US President Donald Trump will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next month in Japan to discuss trade-related issues, according to reports.

Looking ahead, the American Petroleum Institute weekly report on oil stockpiles is due on Tuesday, while the EIA weekly report will be released one day after that.

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