OIL PRICE: ABOVE $68 AGAIN
Brent crude futures LCOc1 for March delivery settled down 44 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $69.02 a barrel after touching a session low of $68.40.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures CLc1 fell $1.06, or 1.6 percent, to close at $64.50 a barrel.
Futures traded weaker in post-settlement trading after weekly inventory figures from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed a 3.2 million-barrel increase in crude oil stocks for last week.
If the U.S. Energy Department data on Wednesday also shows an increase in inventories, it would break an 11-week streak of drawdowns. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast an average 100,000-barrel build in crude stocks.
"We certainly will get some post-settlement weakness carrying into tomorrow's EIA data," said Mike Sabo, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
"We've seen a substantial rise of $10 for WTI move in the last 60 days. This could be the beginning of a possible correction," he added.
U.S. blue-chip stocks opened under pressure, weighed down by a jump in government bond yields and an earlier rise in the dollar .
U.S. stocks fell for a second straight day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average [.DJI] down 362.59 points, or 1.37 percent. It was the biggest daily percentage decline since May 2017 and the second-biggest single-day drop since the election of Donald Trump, ahead of his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
"There are some concerns that when you get a pull-back in the stock market it may be killing the bullish argument that the economy is strong," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
With oil's negative correlation to the dollar reaching its strongest in a month, even continued signs of robust demand for crude were not enough to ward off profit taking following last week's rise to three-year highs.
Oil's inverse relationship to the dollar, whereby a stronger currency makes it more expensive for non-U.S. investors to buy dollar-denominated assets, has reasserted itself this week.
U.S. production is already on par with that of Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Only Russia produces more, averaging 10.98 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017.
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U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.
GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.
REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.