Oil Prices Slip Lower on Upbeat U.S. Crude Stocks

April 1, 2016

Oil prices hit its 2-week low after the soaring of the U.S. crude stockpiles as revealed by the Energy Information Administration on Thursday afternoon. U.S. crude futures lost 65 cents to trade at $37.67 per barrel and the Brent crude futures tumbled at $38.81 per barrel, down by 45 cents.

Based on the report disclosed earlier by the EIA, the crude stockpiles climbed by 2.3 million barrels with a total of 534.8 million barrels to March 25, hitting its seventh-week all time peak. Although, it has increased significantly, the figures failed to meet the estimated 3.3 million barrel by the analysts.

As the market expects for the full cooperation of the OPEC and non-OPEC members to consider freezing their output, crude prices have climbed for 50  percent from the previous month and the OPEC crude output moved from 32.37 million barrels  per day in February to 32.7 million barrels per day for this month. In connection to this, the major oil producers will have a meeting in Doha, Qatar in April 17.

Iran, as expected, refused to join the conference and obviously to cut its production. An oil analyst thought that it was a disastrous sign to make the announcement shortly before the meeting in Doha. He explained that it gave the impression that the lip service paid to freeze oil production is nothing but hot air.

Elsewhere, the United States might be defeated as the biggest crude importer by China. Crude imports of the U.S. recently slumped by 636,000 barrels per day to 7.4 million barrels  per day, while China sets its crude import to 7.5 million bpd in 2016.

Meanwhile, the greenback edged lower against a basket of currencies as the U.S. Department of Labor reported an increased of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week to March 26.

The U.S dollar went down against its Japanese counterpart as it traded at 112.31. However, EUR/USD was up by 0.44 percent to changed hands at 1.1388. The U.S. dollar index hit its five-month low of 94.47, a drop of 0.34 percent.

Last week, the U.S. jobless claims data were at 265,000 individuals. It increased to 11,000 in the week to March 26, resulting in 276,000.

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