Futures on US West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil eased from a fresh 47-week high on Thursday, despite that China’s customs data revealed a rise in crude oil imports and crude oil stocks in the US dropped more than anticipated last week, as surging new coronavirus infections worldwide and related oil demand concerns continued to weigh.
Chinese crude oil imports surged 7.3% last year, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, since refineries bolstered operations and low prices prompted stockpiling.
Oil “capped off a strong year with most commodities recording positive growth despite weaker economic growth,” ANZ Bank analysts wrote in an investor note.
“We expect import demand to remain robust in 2021, although at growth rates slightly lower than last year.”
Meanwhile, a report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday that crude oil inventories had dropped by 3.247 million barrels during the week ended January 8th, marking a fifth consecutive period of decrease. In comparison, analysts on average had expected a 2.266 million drop in inventories last week.
Additional support to oil prices was drawn from a huge coronavirus relief package, which President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce later on Thursday.
“China data continues to outperform, and a monstrous U.S. stimulus package appears to be on the way,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
“Both should ensure that plenty of physical buyers will appear on any price dips,” Halley added.
Still, oil demand concerns capped price gains. European governments announced stricter and longer COVID-19-related lockdowns yesterday, while China reported the largest daily increase in new infections in over 10 months.
As of 9:55 GMT on Thursday WTI Crude Oil Futures were edging down 0.21% to trade at $52.80 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $52.50-$53.29 per barrel. Yesterday the commodity climbed as high as $53.93, or its strongest level since February 20th 2020 ($54.66 per barrel). WTI Crude Oil Futures have risen 8.90% so far in January, following another 7.01% surge in December.
Brent Oil Futures were inching down 0.04% on the day to trade at $55.98 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $55.60-$56.42 per barrel. Yesterday Brent Oil climbed as high as $57.40, or its strongest level since February 24th 2020 ($57.74 per barrel). Brent Oil Futures have risen 8.24% so far in January, following another 8.52% surge in December.
Daily Pivot Levels (traditional method of calculation) – WTI Crude Oil Futures
Central Pivot – $53.14
R1 – $53.70
R2 – $54.49
R3 – $55.05
R4 – $55.61
S1 – $52.35
S2 – $51.79
S3 – $51.00
S4 – $50.21
Daily Pivot Levels (traditional method of calculation) – Brent Oil Futures
Central Pivot – $56.40
R1 – $57.00
R2 – $58.00
R3 – $58.60
R4 – $59.20
S1 – $55.40
S2 – $54.80
S3 – $53.80
S4 – $52.80