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NYMEX, Brent gain as API draws aid sentiment

Commodities Apr 27, 2016 12:19AM ET
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© Reuters. NYMEX, Brent up after API draws - Crude rose in Asia on Wednesday as U.S. industry estimates of stockpiles showed drops that signaled solid demand prospects and investors awaited word from the Federal Reserve on intersst rates.

The American Petroleum Institute weekly crude stockpile report showed a larger than expected drop of 1.070 million barrels, while gasoline stock fell by 400,000 barrels, less than expected ahead of the summer driving season, and distillates stocks eased by 1.0 million barrels.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for June delivery gained 1.00% to $44.48 a barrel. Brent oil gained 0.97% to $46.02 a barrel.

Separately, Wednesday's government report could show that crude inventories nationwide rose by 2.3 million barrels last week. Earlier this week, global energy information provider Genscape, Inc. reported that stockpiles at the Cushing Oil Hub in Oklahoma rose by 1.5 million barrels for the week ending on April 22. Cushing, the nation's largest storage facility, is the main delivery point of NYMEX oil.

Overnight, crude futures surged 2% on Tuesday, amid indications of stronger demand growth in upcoming weeks, ahead of the release of the American Petroleum Institute's weekly inventory report after the close of trading.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for June delivery wavered between $44.16 and $45.82 a barrel, before closing at $45.51, up 1.19 or 2.69% on the session. Following the solid gains, oil prices worldwide are up by approximately 40% since falling to 12-year lows in mid-February. Crude futures are also up nearly 10% since talks at a closely-watched meeting in Doha ended prematurely after Saudi Arabia refused to freeze production at January levels, unless Iran also agreed to cap its output.

In June, Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco will ship 730,000 barrels in storage in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa to China's eastern province of Shandong, Reuters reported. At the same time, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:NYSE:C) said in a note to investors that the Saudi kingdom could ramp up production by 500,000 bpd to accommodate the new sales. The added output would boost Saudi production to near all-time record highs, above 11 million barrels per day.

Any surges in global demand are viewed as bullish for oil, as supply continues to outstrip demand by more than 1 million bpd. It came one day after the Saudi cabinet approved a plan to offer a 5% stake in Aramco in an initial public offering valued as much as $2 trillion.

The Aramco sale is an integral part of the kingdom's comprehensive plan to lessen its reliance on oil by 2030. In an interview with the Saudi state-owned al-Arabiya network, Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman indicated that national production can remain steady, even as the price of oil hovers around $30 a barrel.

Oil prices have remained persistently low since OPEC roiled global markets in November, 2014, with a coordinated effort to maintain its production ceiling above 30 million bpd. Months earlier, crude future prices peaked at $115 a barrel.

NYMEX, Brent gain as API draws aid sentiment

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