Markets

Oil pushes higher as focus shifts to U.S. stockpile data

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Investing.com - Oil prices pushed higher during North American morning hours on Tuesday, as market players looked ahead to weekly data from the U.S. on stockpiles of crude and refined products.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute is due to release its weekly report at 4:30PM ET (21:30GMT) later on Tuesday. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be released Wednesday, amid forecasts for an oil-stock rise of 3.2 million barrels.

Crude oil for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 71 cents, or around 1.4%, to $53.65 a barrel by 9:25AM ET (14:25GMT), after losing 93 cents, or 1.7%, a day earlier.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London rose 82 cents, or about 1.5%, to $56.41 a barrel. The global benchmark lost $1.11, or nearly 2%, on Monday.

Futures have been trading in a narrow $5 range around the lower-to-mid-$50s since December as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers and expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production.

U.S. drilling activity has risen by almost 7% since mid-2016, taking it back to levels seen in late 2014, when strong U.S. crude output contributed to a collapse in oil prices .

The revival in U.S. drilling has raised concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries have made a strong start to lowering their oil output under the first such pact in more than a decade as global producers look to reduce oversupply and support prices.

Latest data showed the group's production in January declined by 890,000 barrels a day from the previous month to 32.14 million barrels a day. The drop indicates a 90% compliance level so far by producers who had agreed to curtail their output.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for March rose 2.5 cents, or 1.7%, to $1.570 a gallon, while March heating oil added 2.6 cents ,or 1.6%, to $1.653 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for March delivery slumped 3.2 cents, or 1.1%, to $2.912 per million British thermal units, the lowest level since November amid forecasts for warmer weather in key regions across the U.S. during the next few weeks.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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