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Oil prices slid today thanks to a combination of a stronger dollar, anxiety over COVID demand as India’s viral counts go exponential and on supply fears after the House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that would allow the Justice Department to pursue antitrust enforcement against OPEC members.
“We’ve seen risk appetite reverse,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.
“Variants are wreaking havoc on some economies, and it’s uncertain how the whole demand picture will evolve.”
Still, tonight’s API report (and tomorrow’s official data) on inventories will likely catalyze the short-term swing.
Crude +436k (-4.4mm exp)
Gasoline -1.617mm (+800k exp)
Distillates +655k (-1.3mm exp)
Crude stocks were expected to have fallen for the 4th week in a row but API reports a surprise build of 436k.
Still some are more optimistic later in the year…
“Once we get into May, we should start to see the next leg down in the virus, and that will be a tailwind for oil,” said Jay Hatfield, CEO at InfraCap in New York.
“Until we get there, prices are likely to be range-bound.”
WTI hovered around $62.60 ahead of the print, and slipped lower on the surprise build…
Still, the market is a far cry from where it was a year ago today, when an unprecedented crisis saw U.S. benchmark crude futures closing at negative $37.63 a barrel.
“Now a year later, the strength of the market is a reminder of how low prices can cure low prices,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group, told MarketWatch..
Tue, 04/20/2021 – 16:33