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U.S. crude futures surge 4%, amid signals of reduced drilling activity

CommoditiesSep 21, 2015 02:37PM ET
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WTI crude nearly surged to $47 a barrel on Mon, while brent crude closed just under $49

Investing.com -- U.S. crude futures rose more than 4% on Monday erasing most of their losses from Friday's massive sell-off, amid indications that U.S. shale producers are continuing to slash output as prices hover near multiple-year lows.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for November delivery traded in a broad range between $45.05 and $47.00 a barrel before settling at $46.90, up 1.88 or 4.19% on the session. On Friday, Texas Long Sweet futures plunged roughly 5%, experiencing one of their most severe one-day losses on the month. In spite of a volatile stretch over the last two weeks, U.S. crude futures are still up by more than 2.25% since September 7.

On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for November delivery wavered between $47.49 and $48.98 a barrel before closing at $48.88, up 1.42 or 2.99% on the session. The spread between the international and U.S. domestic benchmarks stood at $1.98, remaining near eight-month lows.

On Monday, Genscape, Inc., a provider of energy data for the global oil and commodities markets, said crude stockpiles at the Cushing Oil Hub in Oklahoma, fell by 810,000 barrels for the week ending on Sept. 15. It came a week after the U.S. Energy Department said crude inventories at Cushing declined by 2 million barrels, marking the largest weekly draw since February, 2014. Cushing is the main delivery point for NYMEX crude.

Energy analysts continue to monitor the supply-demand imbalance globally, amid a glut of oversupply. Last month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that the supply and demand gap in 2016 is expected to narrow to 0.92 million barrels per day from its projected average of 2.05 million bpd this year. At the same time, the EIA predicts that U.S. production could wane to 8.96 million bpd next year from an estimated 9.36 million bpd in 2015.

Last week, U.S. crude production for the week ending on Sept. 11 fell by 18,000 bpd to 9.117 million. It marked the seventh consecutive week of weekly declines. In early-June, crude production in the U.S. peaked above 9.6 million barrels per day, its highest on record in more than 40 years.

Investors are preparing for the release of a wave of economic indicators later this week that could provide further signals on the direction of the global economy. At week's end, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its third estimate of U.S. GDP in the second quarter. Real GDP is expected to remain at 3.7% for the quarter. Earlier on Monday, Ed Morse, the head of commodities research at Citi, told CNBC, that a reversal in trends in global GDP growth versus global petroleum product demand will need to occur in order for crude prices to rebound. In recent months, Morse said, an increase in global GDP has not been met with a proportionate rise in oil demand.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, surged more than 0.6% to an intraday high of 96.14, its highest level in more than a week. Dollar-denominated commodities such as crude become more expensive for foreign purchasers when the dollar appreciates.

U.S. crude futures surge 4%, amid signals of reduced drilling activity

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