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Oil Edges Lower Near $40 With Global Market Rally Soothing


By Alex Longley

(Bloomberg) Oil edged lower toward $40 as a global market rally cooled and traders look to U.S. inventory data for clues on demand recovery.Futures slipped 0.7% in New York, after earlier trading near $40 a barrel. The end-of-quarter rebound in global stock markets stalled on Tuesday, while global confirmed deaths from the coronavirus — which has eviscerated energy demand — hit 1 million. U.S. gasoline inventories are forecast to fall in government data Wednesday as traders assess the health of American consumption.

U.S. gasoline stockpiles expected to decline further

Oil has clawed its way back after dropping below $40 a barrel earlier in the month, but the world’s biggest oil traders said Tuesday that the market won’t fully recover until 2022. It’s also contending with an increase in supply from OPEC+ members including Libya, which is boosting output as a blockade on its energy facilities lifts.

“Despite yesterday’s impressive rally in risk assets, investors will find it premature to become upbeat,” said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga. “Demand data will probably bear more relevance,” than outright stockpiles in U.S. inventories, he said.

Prices
  • West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell 0.7% to $40.31 a barrel as of 10:32 a.m. London time
  • Brent for November settlement lost 0.6% to $42.18

U.S. gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.2 million barrels last week for an eighth weekly draw, according to a Bloomberg survey. There were positive signs for the fuel in Europe too, as profits from turning a barrel of crude into gasoline hit their highest since June.

That comes as refiners are being forced into a balancing act due to the uneven rebound in fuel consumption. In India, processors are importing gasoline to cover demand as plants run below capacity, while in the U.S., refiners have idled some units to deal with access diesel supply.

Other oil-market news
  • Saudi Aramco may boost the official selling price of its flagship Arab Light crude by as much as 20c/bbl m/m to Asian customers for November sales, according to a Bloomberg survey of refiners and traders
  • Talks have started in an effort to avoid a strike that could shut more than 20% of Norwegian oil and gas production, according to a statement from the Industry Energy union


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