Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Oil gains as Chinese factory data boosts commodities

Oil gains as Chinese factory data boosts commodities

Weekly US crude production figures will be published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Wednesday.

There is a split between Saudi Arabia and Iran on the ideal oil price.

Oil prices extended falls from the previous two days on Wednesday as soaring USA production outweighed strong China data that makes more imports by the world's biggest crude buyer likely, Reuters reports.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery was up 0.25 USA dollar to settle at 60.96 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery added 0.25 dollar to close at 64.89 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Gasoline stockpiles dropped by 6.3 million barrels and diesel stockpiles fell by 4.4 million barrels - outpacing the drops analysts had been expecting.

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"Prices in the upper half of the oil price-band will encourage increased supply as U.S. production grows and countries reduce compliance with their production quotas", Terry Marshall, a Moody's Senior Vice President, said.

Healthy demand and ongoing supply restraint by a group or producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russian Federation, however, have so far prevented further price falls.

The EIA reported that USA production continued its relentless march higher, rising by 2 million barrels a day to yet another weekly record of 10.38 million barrels a day.

US production growth is still expected at 2.7 percent in 2018, up from 2.3 percent in 2017.

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The weekly oil release follows news of an uptick in USA shale deals.

China on Wednesday reported January-February domestic oil production down by 1.9 percent on the year to 30.37 million tonnes, equivalent to 3.77 million bpd.

"The current healthy momentum in the global economy, together with the efforts undertaken by the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing supporting the rebalancing of the oil market fundamentals", the report said.

It noted that strong global demand growth has also contributed to declining global inventories, offsetting rapid increases in U.S. shale production.

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Oil futures for April delivery have slipped below the May contract in recent days, which could be a bearish signal that discourages more investment.

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