On Friday, the crude oil price slipped into the negative zone. It decreased due to the mounting doubts that the demand for oil will rise in the near future. Investors are worried about demand largely because of extremely negative statistics on the coronavirus spread around the world. The epidemiological situation is getting significantly worse every day, which means that new restrictive measures are likely to come in force. If so, the consumption of hydrocarbons will be reduced considerably.
Market participants are still looking forward to a new official report on changes in the level of oil reserves in the United States. Meanwhile, preliminary forecasts are rather grim. The US Department of Energy will unveil its report only this afternoon. This is due to the fact that Monday was a holiday, and on Wednesday, Joe Biden's inauguration took place.
According to analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts, a drop in inventories by about 2.5 million barrels is likely to occur. At the same time, the level of gasoline stocks will increase by 2.7 million barrels. Distillates will rise by an average of 600,000 barrels.
Other experts at the American Petroleum Institute assume that the total level of crude oil reserves may rise by an average of 2.56 million barrels last week. We will find out who is right only tonight. So, for now, the oil price halts its decline.
Moreover, investors are trying to figure out how the political situation in the United States may change the balance of power in the oil market. The policy that Joe Biden has already announced will support oil prices, but no one can predict its consequences yet.
From what we have already learned, Biden is going to conduct a fairly strict policy in the environmental protection sector, which means that the regulation of federal routes of petroleum products will become even more stringent. Thus, the producer costs are likely to rise, it will also have an impact on oil production, which in such conditions will be limited. All these factors will inevitably affect the oil price. This is what most analysts urge market participants to be ready for.
On the trading floor in London, this morning, Brent futures contracts for March fell by 1.3% or $0.73. It is valued at $55.37 per barrel. Yesterday Brent crude gained momentum although at the end of the session its growth was limited and amounted to only 0.1% or $0.02 dollars. The final price totaled $56.1 per barrel.
On the electronic trading platform in New York in the morning, WTI futures contracts for March decreased by 1.37% or $0.73. Their price was $52.4 per barrel. Yesterday, they dropped by 0.3%, or $ 0.18. The final price amounted to $53.13 per barrel.
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