Commodity Market: US Crude Oil extends losses as inventories surge for a fourth week, fuel demand recovery uncertain

Futures on US West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil extended losses from the previous four trading days on Thursday after an official report revealed US crude and fuel stocks continued to increase, as refineries in some southern states were forced to shut because of the mid-February deep freeze.

An official report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday that US crude oil inventories had risen by 2.396 million barrels during the week ended on March 12th, which marked a fourth straight period of increase. A consensus of analyst estimates had pointed to a 2.964 million barrel increase.

Gasoline and diesel inventories also rose last week, confounding expectations of a drop.

In comparison, a day ago the American Petroleum Institute (API) said that crude oil stocks had dropped by 1.047 million barrels during the week ended on March 12th.

“U.S. inventory numbers from the EIA were more bearish than the API numbers from the previous day suggested,” ING Economics said.

“Refiners continue to bring back capacity after the freezing conditions in February,” ING also noted.

Inventory total exceeded 500 million barrels for the first time this year, the firm said.

Meanwhile, a slowdown in some vaccination programmes and the possibility of tighter COVID-19-related restrictions across continental Europe weighed on expectations of a fuel demand recovery.

As of 9:48 GMT on Thursday WTI Crude Oil Futures were retreating 0.77% to trade at $64.10 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $63.79-$64.73 per barrel. WTI Crude Oil Futures have risen 4.18% so far in March, following a 17.82% surge in February.

Brent Oil Futures were inching down 0.07% on the day to trade at $67.70 per barrel, while moving within a daily range of $67.10-$68.04 per barrel. Brent Oil Futures have risen 5.12% so far in March, following a 17.09% surge in February.

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

Central Pivot – $64.51
R1 – $65.43
R2 – $66.25
R3 – $67.17
R4 – $68.08

S1 – $63.69
S2 – $62.77
S3 – $61.95
S4 – $61.12

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

Central Pivot – $67.86
R1 – $68.75
R2 – $69.74
R3 – $70.63
R4 – $71.51

S1 – $66.87
S2 – $65.98
S3 – $64.99
S4 – $63.99

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