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Commodity Market: US Crude Oil retreats as API reports unexpected rise in oil stocks, stimulus expectations cap losses

After two straight trading days of gains, futures on US West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil eased on Thursday, as an industry report revealed an unexpected increase in US crude oil stocks, which once again brought forth concerns over demand.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Wednesday that US crude oil inventories had risen by 2.562 million barrels during the week ended January 15th, surprising market players as analyst estimates had pointed to a 0.280 million barrel decrease.

The official report on oil inventories by the US Energy Information Administration is scheduled to be released on Friday.

“Crude is marginally lower today on a surprise build in U.S. crude stocks… On the flipside, however, crude is also supported by a weaker dollar and the prospect of higher U.S. stimulus,” Ravindra Rao, vice president, commodities at Kotak Securities, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“U.S. crude stocks have been falling for last five weeks and this has been one of the key factors in keeping price at elevated levels. If EIA also confirms an increase in crude stocks, we may see some more correction in prices.”

Still, expectations of a huge coronavirus relief package in the US under President Joe Biden limited oil downside.

In his first acts as President, Biden said that America would return to the Paris climate accord, while he also revoked a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada.

As of 10:05 GMT on Thursday WTI Crude Oil Futures were losing 0.77% to trade at $52.90 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $52.78-$53.24 per barrel. WTI Crude Oil Futures have risen 8.97% so far in January, following another 7.01% surge in December.

Brent Oil Futures were edging down 0.27% on the day to trade at $55.55 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $55.52-$56.02 per barrel. Brent Oil Futures have risen 7.47% so far in January, following another 8.52% surge in December.

Daily Pivot Levels (traditional method of calculation) – WTI Crude Oil Futures

Central Pivot – $53.32
R1 – $53.82
R2 – $54.32
R3 – $54.82
R4 – $55.31

S1 – $52.82
S2 – $52.32
S3 – $51.82
S4 – $51.31

Daily Pivot Levels (traditional method of calculation) – Brent Oil Futures

Central Pivot – $55.99
R1 – $56.31
R2 – $56.91
R3 – $57.23
R4 – $57.54

S1 – $55.39
S2 – $55.07
S3 – $54.47
S4 – $53.86

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