Investing.com – Crude oil prices fell in Asia on Wednesday as industry estimates of US inventories disappointed and the market looked ahead to a week of major data and event risks.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for March delivery fell 10.98% to $63.87 a barrel after dropping more than 1% earlier, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, was last quoted up 0.09% to $68.11 a barrel.
US crude oil stocks rose 3.229 million barrels last week, API said on Tuesday, above expectations.
Gasoline inventories rose by 2.692 million barrels and distillate supplies fell by 4.096 million barrels.
Analysts expected crude to show a 126,000 barrels build and distillates down by 1.454 million barrels with gasoline seen up by 1.809 million barrels. Supplies at the oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma fell 2.383 million barrels.
The API estimates will be followed by official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Later, China reports its official with a 51.5 level expected for January, a dip down from 51.6 in December. The non-manufacturing PMI is seen steady at 55.0. The private Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI is due on Thursday with a 51.3 level seen in January, a slight fall from 51.5 in December.
Also ahead, President Donald Trump will give his State-of-the Union address to Congress with the market on its toes for comments on the trade and the dollar and the Fed unveils its latest policy views on Wednesday. In comments released ahead of the speech, Trump commented on energy and trade policies broadly.
“We have ENDED the war on American Energy – and we have ENDED the War on CLEAN COAL. We are now an exporter of energy to the world,” Trump said. “America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs and our nation’s wealth.”
Overnight, prices settled lower on Tuesday as traders appeared to unwind some their bullish bets.
Concerns over a potential rise in US oil supplies come as traders fear that narrowing spreads between WTI crude and Brent may have dampened demand for US crude exports, leading to a build in crude stockpiles.
Also adding to negative sentiment on oil prices were expectations that US crude production could soon hit an unprecedented 10 million barrels per day (bpd) as the number of oil rigs rose sharply last week, pointing to a potential ramp up in production.
US crude production reached 9.88 million barrels a day last week, the highest since 1983, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Offsetting the rise in US production has been ongoing production curbs from major oil producers – as part of the OPEC-led output cut agreement- and higher oil demand growth amid strong global economic momentum. Yet, some fear that the rise in US oil production may dampen OPEC and other major oil producers’ resolve to remain in strong compliance with the accord to curb output.
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