Crude oil futures – weekly outlook: September 12 – 16; the largest weekly decline since January 1999

U.S. crude oil for delivery in October ended Friday’s session at $45.72 a barrel, down $1.9, or 3.99% on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Despite Friday’s losses, New York-traded oil futures gained 3.24% for the week.

Oil had ended 4% higher on Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude stocks dropped 14.5 million barrels last week to 511.4 million barrels.

It was the largest weekly decline since January 1999.

Total commercial stockpiles of crude oil and refined products fell by 13.7 million barrels.

Earlier in the week, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell 12.1 million barrels in the week ended September 2.

But analysts said the unexpectedly large drawdown in inventories came as a tropical storm on the East Coast kept cargoes of oil and fuel from being delivered.

Oil prices have fluctuated in recent weeks amid uncertainty over whether the world’s major oil producers will take steps to curb output when they meet later this month.

OPEC members are set to discuss a potential production cap at an informal meeting on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algeria between September 26-28.

But many market participants remain doubtful that talks will result in any agreement aimed at propping up prices.

Instead, most believe that oil producers will continue to monitor the market and possibly postpone freeze talks to the official OPEC meeting in Vienna on November 30.

An attempt to jointly freeze production levels earlier this year failed after Saudi Arabia backed out over Iran’s refusal to take part of the initiative.

In the week ahead, oil traders will be focusing on U.S. stockpile data on Tuesday and Wednesday for fresh supply-and-demand signals.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Tuesday, September 13

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, September 14

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release its weekly report on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Friday, September 16

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.


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