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Jim Hyerczyk

Jim Hyerczyk

Fundamental and technical analyst with 30 years experience.

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Oil Market Forecast & Review 7th February 2014

March crude oil futures rose to even for the year, erasing all of the loss from the December 31, 2013 close at $98.55. Positive U.S. economic data, stabilizing equity markets and supportive data from government reports showing increased demand for petroleum products underpinned the futures market most of the week.

A greater-than-expected drop in jobless claims helped drive up crude oil on Thursday, setting the tone for a strong close going into next week. The major determinant of next week’s action should be Friday’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report. In January, it was reported the economy added only 74,000 new jobs in December. This was well below expectations, triggering the initial break in crude oil from its $100.79 top. The market is currently approaching the $100 barrier, creating the possibility of for a similar move in February. A weak report is likely to start another break. A much stronger jobs report should trigger a breakout over $100.79.

Besides the outlook for a positive jobs report and an improving economy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration report also helped underpin oil prices. Although U.S. crude oil supplies rose by 400,000 barrels in the week-ended January 31, the market continued to receive support from a smaller than expected rise in gasoline and a big drop in heating oil and diesel fuel. Moving forward, crude oil prices should continue to be supported by the distillate drawdowns and the slight builds in gasoline…

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