MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil holds steady pending inventory

Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped modestly on Mar. 27 and continued downward in early trading Mar. 28 pending release of the US government’s weekly report on oil and product inventories.

Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped modestly on Mar. 27 and continued downward in early trading Mar. 28 pending release of the US government’s weekly report on oil and product inventories.

The US benchmark settled above $65/bbl for three consecutive trading sessions on the New York market while the Brent benchmark in London settled above $70/bbl for three consecutive sessions as of Mar. 27.

But Moty Kuperberg said he finds no immediate market fundamentals to support Brent at $70/bbl. Kuperberg is with Dynamic Shipping Services (DSS) of Haifa, Israel. DSS provides international cargo shipping services.

“The market is confident with the world top suppliers—US, Russia, and Saudi Arabia—to bring enough oil to the market,” said Kuperberg, who also directs a project called the Independent Energy Security Agency.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal said its survey of traders and analysts expect the US Energy Information Administration will estimate that nation’s crude supplies rose 1.4 million bbl for the week ended Mar. 23.

Separately, the American Petroleum Institute released its own estimate on Mar. 27 showing a 5.3 million-bbl increase in crude supplies for last week.

Analysts said oil prices also dropped on a strengthening US dollar. Oil is traded on most exchanges in US dollars, so a stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for buyers starting with other currencies.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which compares the dollar against 16 other currencies, was up 0.13% as of early Mar. 27.

Energy prices

The May light, sweet crude contract on the NYMEX fell 30¢ on Mar. 27 to settle at $65.25/bbl. The June contract declined 23¢ to $65.18/bbl.

The NYMEX natural gas price for April gained 7¢ to $2.69/MMbtu. The Henry Hub cash gas price rose 2¢ to $2.60/MMbtu on Mar. 27.

Ultralow-sulfur diesel for April decreased less than 1¢ to remain at a rounded $2.02/gal. The NYMEX reformulated gasoline blendstock for April gained less than a penny to remain at $2.01/gal.

Brent crude oil for May edged down 1¢ to $70.11/bbl on London’s International Commodity Exchange. The June contract fell 6¢ to $69.46/bbl. The gas oil contract for April was $618.25/tonne, up $5.50.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of crudes was $66.80/bbl on Mar. 27, unchanged from the previous day.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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