U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil managed to eke-out a small gain for the holiday-shortened week, but the volatile, two-sided price action indicated cracks may be developing in the bullish narrative.
Crude Oil Gains Limited
Despite hitting a new five-month high earlier in the week, it was Thursday’s gains which prevented the crude oil markets from closing lower for the week. Nonetheless, this week’s price action suggests a top-heavy market. However, we do realize that the below-average pre-holiday trade may have had an effect on trading.
For the week, June WTI crude oil settled at $64.07, down $0.05 or -0.08% and June Brent crude oil finished at $71.97, up $0.42 or +0.58%.
The news tended to lean to the bullish side late in the week with the markets underpinned by a drop in crude shipments from top exporter Saudi Arabia and a draw in U.S. oil inventories. Gains may have been limited by a stronger U.S. Dollar which tends to limit foreign demand for U.S. oil, and weaker U.S. equities which reduced demand for higher risk assets.
Supply Side News Mostly Supportive
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell by 277,000 barrels per day just under 7 million bpd in February from the month before, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative.
On Wednesday, the EIA reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week-ending April 12. Traders were looking…