OIL PRICES UP $1.71
Light, sweet crude prices for May delivery rose more than $1/bbl on the New York market Apr. 20, which was the last day of trading for that futures contract. Analysts attributed the price support to traders making short-covering transactions before the contract's expiry and also to a weakening US dollar.
Oil trades in dollars, and a declining value in the dollar makes crude less expensive to buyers using other currencies.
Meanwhile, Kuwait's oil workers ended their 3-day strike on Apr. 20. Analysts said the resumption of Kuwait's crude oil production could cause downward pressure on oil prices in coming days.
US natural gas prices fell by the Apr. 20 settlement after hitting a 2-month high of nearly $2.14/MMbtu in earlier trading that same day.
"We see the current storage outlook as more neutral than bullish," Tim Evans, Citi Futures Perspective analyst of New York, said in a note about the US gas inventory.
The US Energy Information Administration estimated gas levels in underground storage across the Lower 48 at 2.484 tcf as of Apr. 15. This represents a net increase of 7 bcf from the previous week, the Gas Storage Report said Apr. 21.
On Apr. 20, EIA's Petroleum Status Report estimated US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, gained 2.1 million bbl to 538.6 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 15 compared with the previous week.
The May crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed $1.55 on Apr. 20 to $42.63/bbl. The June contract was up $1.71 to $44.18/bbl.
The NYMEX natural gas contract for May dropped nearly 2¢ to a rounded $2.07/MMbtu. The Henry Hub price was $2.02/MMbtu, up 12¢.
Heating oil for May delivery rose nearly 7¢ to a rounded $1.37/gal. The price for reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenates blending for May climbed 2.7¢ to a rounded $1.51/gal.
The Brent crude contract for June on London's ICE was up $1.77 to $45.80/bbl. The July contract climbed $1.78 to $45.63/bbl. The gas oil contract for May was $386.75/tonne, up $8.25.
The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of 13 benchmark crudes on Apr. 20 was $38.46/bbl, gaining 19¢.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.