OIL & GAS PRICES: DOWN TO $47
OGJ, BLOOMBERG, OILPRICE - Light, sweet crude oil prices for August and September each fell by nearly $2/bbl on July 5, breaking an eight-session gaining streak as traders returned to work after the US Independence Day holiday. It was the largest single-day drop in a month. Previously, the US oil benchmark was up 11% over the 8 consecutive trading days of price increases, which marked the longest gaining streak in at least 5 years.
Prices were climbing again in early July 6 trading as traders and analysts awaited release of the US Energy Information Administration's weekly oil and products report. The July 4 holiday caused the report to come out a day later than usual.
The American Petroleum Institute said late July 5 its data for the week ended June 30 showed crude oil supplies dropped 5.8 million bbl and gasoline supplies dropped 5.7 million bbl.
Analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expect EIA's Petroleum Status Report will show US crude stockpiles fell by 2.5 million bbl.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its average 2017 Brent crude oil forecast to $50/bbl from its earlier forecast of $54/bbl. BOA also cut its 2018 forecast to $52/bbl from its earlier forecast of $56/bbl.
Bernstein Research also reduced its average 2017 Brent forecast to $50/bbl from its earlier forecast of $60/bbl, citing increasing US shale oil production.
Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy for Saxo Bank, said Brent oil prices could approach $55/bbl during the second half but he expects prices will drop toward the end of the year and into 2018.
The August light, sweet crude contract on NYMEX dropped $1.94 on July 5 to settle at $45.13/bbl. The September contract was down $1.95 to close at $45.34/bbl.
The NYMEX natural gas price for August declined 11¢ to a rounded $2.84/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price was $2.90/MMbtu on July 5, down 4¢ from June 30, the last available price for the US gas spot price.
Heating oil futures for August dropped 3¢ to a rounded $1.48/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for August also declined 3¢ to $1.50/gal.
The Brent crude contract for September on London's ICE decreased $1.82 to $47.79/bbl while the October contract dropped $1.83 to $48.07/bbl. The July gas oil contract was down $6.75 to $442.25/tonne.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' basket of crudes on July 5 was $47.04/bbl, down 53¢.
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