Crude oil ended mixed yesterday despite strong EIA data. Recent figures showed a bigger than expected fall in crude oil inventories. Meanwhile, the build in gasoline inventories was smaller than expected while distillate inventories were larger than expected. Overall, the EIA report was better than consensus estimates for crude and gasoline inventories. This morning, crude oil is rallying with both WTI and Brent crude trading close to their highs for 2017. As US production accelerates towards 10m barrels per day (a level only surpassed by Russia and Saudi Arabia), many are questioning how long the current bull market can last. Our medium-term outlook remains bullish.
WTI is currently trading just above $58.0. Brent crude is currently above $64.50.
Looking at US crude oil stocks, the most recent EIA figures (December 20) showed falling crude oil stocks and rising gasoline inventories. Crude oil inventories were lower than estimates (-6.5m vs. -3.8m expected). Gasoline stocks were up (+1.2m vs. +2.1m expected) while distillate stocks (+0.7m vs. -1m expected) were lower. Looking at reactions in markets, crude oil prices were mixed following the EIA report.
As crude oil falls after hitting recent highs, we are downgrading the commodity to neutral. Note that both Brent and WTI are now trading within a normal range. This is based on technical indicators on the daily chart.
As crude oil rebounds on OPEC expectations, we are upgrading the commodity to bullish in the medium-term. Looking at various technical indicators on the weekly chart, note that both Brent and WTI are trading within a normal range.