Harvey Rains On Positive Crude Inventory Data

Harvey’s floods continue to submerge the trend of increasingly positive inventory data.

Oil continues to be a game of two halves, with Brent reacting positively to the overnight American Petroleum Institute’s (API) crude inventory data, with WTI continuing to sag as Hurricane Harvey induced refinery shutdowns leaving U.S. crude with no home to call its own.

Lost in the winds of Harvey, the API reported another massive drawdown of 5.78 million barrels against an expected 1.75 million overnight. This continues the multi month trend of falling inventories and would normally be positive for crude as we look forward to the official inventory data this evening. However, with fully 20% of the U.S. refining capacity, off-line attention has been focused on potential shortages in refined products with gasoline futures rocketing another four percent higher overnight.

Brent Spot

Brent spot is trading at 51.70, unchanged from its overnight and previous days close. The Brent premium has blown out to multi-year highs of $5.50 due to Hurricane Harvey and sellers of the Brent/WTI spread at these levels maybe capping Brent’s gains for now. Nevertheless, it continues to consolidate its gains trading mid-range with support at 51.00 and resistance at 53.70.

WTI Spot

WTI spot fell 50 cents to close at 46.20 where it trades unchanged this morning, wilting under the flood waters. We expect this state of affairs to continue until we have more visibility time frames for the Texas and Louisiana refineries to restart production, a process that could take more than a week during normal operations. The official crude Inventory data is expected at -1.75 million barrels with a more negative number most likely not having its usual positive effects on prices. A better than expected number in the present circumstance, however, may see WTI come under unwelcome pressure again.

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Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, from 2016 to August 2022
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley was OANDA’s Senior Market Analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes.

He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays.

A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV and Channel News Asia as well as in leading print publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley
Jeffrey Halley

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