EIA oil inventories preview: Crude struggles after mixed API data

Commodities

Crude oil and Brent oil are struggling below opening levels today after a bearish inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute.

Both benchmarks headed back towards the two-week lows hit yesterday before returning to trade just under opening levels.

Crude is on track to record its first monthly loss in five months, while Brent looks set to end lower for the first time in six months.

API: Oil draw falls short, surprise gasoline build

The API reported a smaller-than-expected draw in crude oil inventories and a surprise build in gasoline inventories.

Crude oil inventories fell by 831,000 barrels in the week ending September 25th, against analyst forecasts of a 2.256 million barrel drop.

Gasoline inventories also disappointed forecasts, rising by 1.623 million barrels during the same period, instead of falling by 1.3 million barrels as expected.

In more supportive news, US oil production fell to 10.7 million barrels per day.

Rising coronavirus cases raise questions over global recovery

The rising number of coronavirus cases as winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere has heightened fears of new restrictions that could curb economic activity and therefore demand for oil.

While certain parts of the global economy are bouncing back, others continue to be hammered by the pandemic. Airlines are a key market for oil and various restrictions combined with a general fear of air travel given the current circumstances has seen a huge drop in bookings.

On Tuesday the global Covid-19 death toll passed the 1 million mark, up from 500,000 three months ago, with the number of infected exceeding 33 million.

Traders are also worried that the US Presidential Election may not produce a clear winner on November 3rd, leading to more disruption for the world’s largest economy as both Trump and Biden contest the results.