April crude oil prices traded lower during the overnight and early morning hours, hamstrung by a weaker outside market tone and ideas that rising energy prices could undermine global demand. There were reports that both Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have increased their oil export capacity for April, and that could be a factor limiting Iran supply fears this morning. Additionally, there appears to be growing talk of a potential release of US strategic petroleum reserves, and that is seen as a factor that could compensate for a loss of Iranian supply. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 21st showed non-commercial traders were net long 304,957 contracts, an increase of 24,187. Non-commercial and non-reportable traders combined held a net long position of 338,643 contracts, for an increase of 29,279 during the report week. Some traders viewed the buying trend is viewed supportive to higher crude oil prices.
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