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Profit Taking and Stronger Dollar Pauses Crude Rally

Crude oil futures were lower in the mid-morning hours of September 29 as investors booked profits after an overnight rise, while a stronger dollar and more extensive US Crude stocks contributed to energy prices’ headwinds. As a result, the ICE, November Brent futures contract, was 98 cents/b (1.24 percent) lower at $78.11/b at 10:30 a.m. Singapore time (0230 GMT), while the NYMEX November light sweet Crude contract was 83 cents/b (1.10 percent) lower at $74.46/b.

Many observers agreed that weak feelings for oil prices stemmed from the risk-off atmosphere in the US market and that a stronger currency has capped gains in oil prices after they met resistance near $80 per barrel. For example, OANDA’s Senior Market Analyst, Edward Moya, said, “Crude prices turned negative after $80 oil triggered some profit-taking and a surge in Treasury yields delivered a stronger dollar.”

Front-month Brent rose above $80 per barrel for the first time since October 2018. In overnight trade, the November contract rose to a session high of $80.75/b before sliding down. October RBOB was 2.41 cents lower at $2.1778 a gallon on the NYMEX, while October ULSD was 1.91 cents lower at $2.2699 per gallon. Meanwhile, while supplies remain tight, market participants will be looking for signals at the OPEC+ meeting on October 4 to see if the group would extend its existing commitment to increase production by 400,000 b/d.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late September 28 that US Crude supplies increased by 4.1 million barrels for the week ended September 24, surprising most forecasts for a fall. In addition, according to the API, gasoline inventories increased by 3.6 million barrels last week, while distillate inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels. For more pricing clues, the market will now wait for the US Energy Information Administration’s stocks report, which is set to be released on September 29.

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