Crude Oil Prices – Weekly Outlook: December 17 – 21


Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: December 17 - 21 – Oil traders will stay fixated on global growth prospects in the week ahead, after prices got hammered last week by worries that the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute will drag on global growth and, by extension, erode energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled $1.38, or roughly 2.6%, on Friday to settle at $51.20 a barrel by close of trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

For the week, WTI prices lost about 2.7%.

Meanwhile, the global benchmark, Brent crude for February delivery on the ICE (NYSE:ICE) Futures Europe exchange, sank $1.17, or 1.9%, to end at $60.28 a barrel.

It fell about 2.2% for the week.

With just about two weeks to the end of 2018, WTI remains down about 15% on the year and some 32% lower from four-year highs of nearly $77 per barrel hit in early October. Brent is down about 10% on the year and nearly 32% lower from four-year highs of nearly $87 per barrel hit two months ago.

Fresh weekly data on U.S. commercial crude inventories to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and whether output levels will continue to rise will capture the market’s attention this week.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that domestic crude supplies declined by 1.2 million barrels, while domestic production had fallen from a record high of 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to 11.6 million bpd.

Offering a hint on U.S. production activity, Baker Hughes on Friday reported that the number of active domestic rigs drilling for oil fell by four to 873, the lowest since mid-October.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the main events likely to affect the oil market.

Tuesday, December 18

The American Petroleum Institute is to publish its weekly update on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, December 19

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil stockpiles.

Friday, December 21

{{0|Baker Hughes}} will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

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