Oil prices pulled back on Thursday as the dollar strengthened, but crude remained near 10-month highs amid ongoing supply outages and falling U.S. inventories. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was down 1% at $51.97 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.9% at $50.78 a barrel. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, was up 0.2% on Thursday. As oil is priced in dollars, it becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies when the dollar appreciates. Investors are awaiting signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it may still go ahead and raise rates either in July or September, which could strengthen the dollar and act as a damper on commodities such as crude. Higher rates tend to push up the dollar, because it becomes more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded – Current: $2.723; Month Ago: $2.911; Year Ago: $2.558. National Average Price for Diesel – Current: $3.260; Month Ago: $3.281; Year Ago: $2.811.
Oil prices declined on Wednesday after a slight increase in the previous session amid a surprise surge in US crude inventories reported last week. After rising to over $72 per barrel yesterday, Brent oil went back on the dropping track, as the American Petroleum Institute revealed a rise of over 600,000 barrels in US crude stockpiles last week. Meanwhile, Libya reopened its ports and started exporting oil again after the closures of its oil field. The country’s National Oil Corporation announced its force majeure on exports from Zawiya oil terminal on Tuesday, in a bid to boosting national production. Click Read More below for additional information.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that crude supplies climbed by 2.1 million barrels for the week ended June 1. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts had forecast a decline of 1.3 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported a fall of 2 million barrels, according to sources. The EIA also reported that total domestic crude production rose by 31,000 barrels a day to fresh weekly record of 10.8 million barrels a day. Gasoline stockpiles jumped by 4.6 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles rose 2.2 million barrels, according to the EIA. Click Read More below for additional information.