US oil prices turned positive and pared early losses after a forecaster reported that crude supplies in a key storage hub rose last week by an amount that was smaller than expected.
Data Service Genscape Inc. reported that oil inventories in Cushing Okla rose 1.39 million barrels according to market participants. Supplies in Cushing have risen 12 straight weeks, often by more than two million barrels per week according to the Energy Information Administration.
Cushing is the delivery point for benchmark US oil futures contract, so US oil prices are sensitive to supply levels at the storage hub.
The Wall Street Journal reported that light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 0.7% or 35 cents recently to $50.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up from $49 a barrel before the release of the data. Brent, the benchmark, dropped 1.9% or 1.21 to $61.37 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe.
Futures of crude oil climbed in February, snapping a losing streak of seven months amid hopes that production cutbacks in America might alleviate the global glut that drove prices over the cliff last year.
Market Watch quoted Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities as having said, “We are expecting continued, surging US supplies in the coming weeks, and US crude-oil prices will very likely be under pressure again in the coming weeks.”
On the Nymex, April gasoline dropped 3.6% or 7.1 cents to $1.907 per gallon and heating oil for April traded down by 3.3% or 6.5 cents at $1.909 per gallon.
Declines among the petroleum product prices can be due to some refinery units in the US coming back online.
April natural gas dropped 0.9% or 2.4 cents, trading at $2.71 per million British thermal units.
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