Oil prices fall as market weighs on mixed supply signals

Workers walk as oil pumps are seen in the background at the Uzen oil and gas field in the Mangistau region of Kazakhstan November 13, 2021. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev

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NEW DELHI, April 14 – Oil prices fell on Thursday amid weak trading volumes ahead of a public holiday, as traders weighed a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. oil inventories against tighter supply world.

Brent crude futures were down $1.14, or 1.1%, at $107.64 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate futures were down $1.32, or 1. 3%, to $102.93 a barrel at 06:32 GMT.

Both contracts on Wednesday shrugged off a sharp rise in U.S. crude inventories to end the trading session up around 4%.

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“Asian buyers were absent today as volumes were potentially constrained by the long weekend across much of Asia, Europe and North America,” analyst Jeffrey Halley wrote. from OANDA, in a note.

The International Energy Agency warned on Wednesday that from May around 3 million barrels a day of Russian oil could be blocked due to sanctions or voluntary embargoes. Read more

Meanwhile, major global trading houses also plan to cut crude and fuel purchases from state-controlled Russian oil companies in May, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Read more

The likelihood of an EU ban on Russian oil being accepted may be close to zero, but no one will be able or willing to say so clearly, says Vandana Hari, founder of oil market analysis provider Vanda Insights. .

“And even a continuous rattle will be enough to keep the risk premium alive.”

Despite signals that the global supply disruption will persist, U.S. oil inventories rose by more than 9 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. , thanks in part to releases from the country’s strategic reserves. Analysts in a Reuters poll had only forecast a build of 863,000 barrels. Read more

U.S. gasoline inventories fell 3.6 million barrels last week, well above expected levels, and distillate inventories also fell.

“The fact that oil has continued to rally after such a large jump in crude inventories in the United States and that China’s concerns have suddenly been forgotten is a serious warning signal for those who set prices at the top. oil markets,” said OANDA’s Halley.

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Reporting by Mohi Narayan in New Delhi, Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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