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Crude oil steady near 3-year high on US stock decline


Crude oil trades in a narrow range above $63 per barrel after testing a high of $63.67/bbl yesterday, the highest level since Dec.2014.

Crude oil has benefitted from sharp decline in US crude oil stocks. US EIA weekly inventory report noted a 4.948 million barrels decline in US crude oil stocks as against forecast of 3.4 mn bbl decline. Stocks fell to 419.5 million barrels, the lowest level since Aug.2015.

EIA also noted a sharp 2.96% decline in US weekly crude oil production to 9.492 million barrels per day. The decline in production was however attributed to outages caused by severe cold weather in US in last few days. Earlier this week, US EIA forecasted that US crude production will hit record high level in 2018 and 2019.

Crude rose also as US dollar weakened. The US dollar index fell 0.2% yesterday as market reacted to reports that China could consider halting its purchase of US treasuries. The market reaction has however subsided.

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