Economy

US crude stocks jump sharply as refiners cut activity

US crude stocks jump sharply as refiners cut activity”

Fall comes after oil market posted gains for three consecutive sessions.

Brent crude for January delivery decreased 1.22 dollars to close at 61.74 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

While Beijing's statement on Thursday was viewed positively, a senior official of US President Donald Trump's administration told Reuters on Wednesday that a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign an interim deal could be delayed until December as talks continue over terms and venue. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 lost 74 cents, or 1.3%, to trade at $56.49 per barrel.

The United States and China, the world's two biggest oil consumers, are working to narrow their differences enough to sign a "phase one" trade deal as early as this month to resolve a trade war that has slowed global growth.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 7.9 million barrels during the week ending November 1 from the previous week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Gasoline and diesel fuel inventories fell, by 4.0 million and 1.6 million barrels, respectively, according to the API.

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According to the data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, crude oil stockpiles in the US increased by 7.9 million barrels in the week ended November 1, more than five times the expected increase as refiners cut output and exports fell. Negotiators are also discussing lowering the 25 percent duty on about $250 billion of imports that Trump imposed previous year, the people said.

Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.5 million b/d, up by 2.7 percent from the same period previous year.

In fact, Stephen Brennock, analyst at PVM, suspects Iran's renegade behaviour could inject some life into the somewhat range-bound crude market: "The OPEC nation may be tempted to cause further supply disruptions in the Middle East in a bid to drive up prices; accordingly, conditions are ripe for tensions in the region to escalate and for the geopolitical risk premium to strike back with a vengeance".

However, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the current oil price of more than $60 per barrel showed that markets were stable.



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