Brent Crude Futures Reverse Losses After U.S. Inventories Decline, Chinese Imports Surge

Brent crude futures prices rose on Friday, boosted after a weekly report showed both U.S. crude production and inventories retreated last week. Meanwhile, China was reported to increase its crude oil imports in September, helping reinforce expectation over a tightening market.

December Brent crude, the global benchmark, jumped more than 1 percent to $56.84 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe after having closed down 69 cents, or 1.2% on Thursday. Oil prices were supported after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late Thursday released its figures that showed U.S. crude inventories dropped 2.7 million barrels to 462.22 million barrels in the week to October 6th.

The reading beat market forecast calling for a drop of 1.9 million barrels. Meanwhile, U.S. crude production was reported to decrease by 81,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.48 million bpd.

On the demand side, Chinese oil imports, which averaged 8.5 million bpd in the first eight months of this year, reached 9 million bpd in September. China, the world’s biggest importer, solidified its position as the nation increased purchases for its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR).

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