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Oil sinks as USA output soars, wiping out 2018 gains

10 February 2018

Futures fell as much as 0.7 per cent in NY, falling for a fifth day, after government data showed USA crude production jumped to a record 10.25 million barrels a day last week.

Further, oil prices fell due to the increased USA crude supply, along with technical indicators signaling the potential for further price declines. Brent crude futures have lost around 4.5% during the week.

Turmoil on Wall Street also pressured crude. According to trade press reports, as much as 1.4 million b/d of new refinery capacity is planned to open in China by the end of 2019.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery slid $1.24 to $59.91 a barrel at 10.42am on the New York Mercantile Exchange. US futures were down 15 cents at $61.64 a barrel.

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Brent futures LCOc1 were down 74 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $64.77 a barrel by 12:14 p.m. EST (1714 GMT), their lowest since December 22.

"It's never just one factor that slams the market like this".

"There are several things going for it, it was unloved, underowned and it already has been recovering fundamentally for a while", said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis. "While oil prices are likely to be supported at this level after its correction, the upcoming United States data will be the deciding factor" for future prices.

Crude oil prices could remain under pressure the rest of the session with $61.37 the minimum downside target.

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"Suddenly, inflation has become one of the most-talked about issues in markets", USA bank J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients. The country's import dependence is also expected to grow as imports rise and production at home declines.

Crude volumes in the North Sea Forties pipeline continued to ramp up faster than expected following a restart, a trade source told Reuters.

Oil extended declines as persistent volatility in global markets prompted caution among traders, even as US inventories reportedly fell. With their 10.25 million barrels per day, the USA became the third country in the world behind Russian Federation (10.95 million) and Saudi Arabia (10.6 million) with a production that exceeds 10 million barrels per day.

The EIA raised the US' 2018 average output forecast to 10.59m bpd, up 320,000 bpd from its estimate last week. The Baker Hughes figures should mean still more supply in coming months. Distillate product supplied averaged 4.2 million barrels a day for the past four weeks, up by 8.9% compared with the same period previous year.

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Oil sinks as USA output soars, wiping out 2018 gains