Crude oil for June delivery lost $1.34, or 1.3%, to settle at $100.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The May contract settled at $104.30 as the front-month contract on April 17, so prices based on that were down roughly 3.6% for this week. The June contract itself lost around 2.7% on the week. Either way, the declines marked the largest one-week slide for a most-active contract since the week ended March 14, according to FactSet data.
It appears the ‘supply bears’ have taken control from the “demand bulls,” which includes the geopolitical risk bulls.The situation in Ukraine took somewhat of a backseat for West Texas Intermediate crude traders, he said, as the market experienced some “headline fatigue.From here, we could see follow through selling down towards the mid to upper $90’s range now that record supply levels are the primary focus of the market.
Losses for the week follow a U.S. government report issued Wednesday that showed crude supplies totaling 397.7 million barrels for the week ended April 18. That was the largest weekly total for commercial crude inventories since at least late August of 1982, based on Energy Information Administration data going back as far as that date. Some analysts and news reports said the weekly stockpile level was the highest on record.
Nymex prices failed to get much of a boost Friday in the wake of data showing U.S. consumer sentiment rose to a final April reading of 84.1, the highest reading since July, which generally bodes well for the energy-demand outlook.
A bearish tone exists onthe ICE Futures exchange, June Brent , the European crude, fell 75 cents, or 0.7%, to $109.58 a barrel. The contract traded a little higher for the week.
Nymex crude led this move lower for oil, and now Brent is following along as the market will not give Brent a $9 premium for long,.The tone is generally bearish.On the U.S. side, the housing data was worrisome, and then on the Russia debt side we have other risks. Inflation is picking up and the Japanese yen is stubbornly higher, so crude prices will retreat moderately in the face of these global headwinds.the problem with oil prices right now is global macroeconomic risk, and it’s coming from multiple directions. The markets will retreat until uncertainty is priced-in and/or reduced.
China’s oil demand in March rose 0.5% year over year to an average of 9.83 million barrels a day, according to a Platts analysis of Chinese government data. Platts said the growth in apparent demand last month is “significantly less than in previous years.”
Nymex, gasoline for May delivery gave up over a penny, or 0.5%, falling to $3.075 a gallon, but still gained 0.7% for the week, while heating oil for the same month fell nearly 3 cents, or 0.9%, to $2.99 a gallon — 0.7% lower on the week.
May natural gas shed nearly 6 cents, or 1.2%, to $4.65 per million British thermal units, extending its loss from a day earlier when a U.S. report showed weekly supplies of the fuel climbed slightly more than the market expected.For the week, prices lost roughly 2%. The May contract expires at the Nymex close on Monday.