From the Field
Oil up 1% ahead of US data
LONDON, January 23, 2019 – Oil prices rebounded from the prior day’s losses on Wednesday, as market players looked ahead to the release of fresh weekly data on U.S. commercial crude inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 57 cents, or around 1.1%, to $53.58 a barrel by 8:20AM ET (13:20 GMT), after losing $1.03, or 1.9%, a day earlier.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE (NYSE:ICE) Futures Exchange in London rose 74 cents, or about 1.2%, to $62.25 a barrel. The global benchmark lost $1.24, or nearly 2%, on Tuesday.
The American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report for the week ended Jan. 18 at 4:30PM ET (21:30 GMT), amid expectations of a drop of about 435,000 barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report will be released on Thursday.
The reports come out one day later than usual due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday.
After ending 2018 in free-fall, oil is off to its best start for a year since 2001, gaining about 18% since the start of January.
Overall, the recent advance for the energy complex has been powered by evidence of a cut in output from the world’s big exporters, notably Saudia Arabia, aimed at preventing a new glut on world markets.
Helping the mood music Wednesday were comments out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where a senior Russian official indicated that the country doesn’t want a price war with the U.S., whose share of the global market is rising due to increased shale output.
“We should not take competitive action to destroy U.S. shale production,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund. “For U.S. shale production to go down, you need oil prices at $40 per barrel and below. That is not healthy for the Russian economy.”
In other energy trading, gasoline futures ticked up 0.3% to $1.405 a gallon, while heating oil gained 1.1% to $1.921 a gallon.
Natural gas futures added 2.9% to $3.128 per million British thermal units. The contract tumbled more than 8% on Tuesday on the back of changing winter weather forecasts.