Saturday, August 18, 2018

© Reuters.  Traders take profit after monthly gains of more than 4%© Reuters. Traders take profit after monthly gains of more than 4% – Oil prices registered modest losses on Tuesday in the last trading day of the month, but were still on track for gains of more than 4% during October as investors took profit ahead of weekly inventory data.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude December contract lost 16 cents, or 0.30%, to $53.99 a barrel by 5:07AM ET (9:07GMT).

Elsewhere, Brent oil for January delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London fell 27 cents, or 0.45%, to $60.32 a barrel.

Despite profit taking on Tuesday, market participants remained upbeat over black gold amid ongoing speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will agree to extend their production cut agreement beyond March 2018, though concerns over the uptick in Iraqi exports and signs that U.S. production was on the rise helped to offset the upward trend.

OPEC’s Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo noted last week comments from both Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin that suggested they were in favor of a nine-month extension for the current deal to cut production by 1.8 million barrels a day.

He said that their remarks “clear the fog on the way to (the cartel’s next meeting in) Vienna on November 30.”

Meanwhile, market participants turn their attention to fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies later on Tuesday, while official U.S. stockpiles data will be released on Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for December delivery lost 0.26% at $1.7078 a gallon by 5:08AM ET (9:08GMT), while December heating oil shed 0.25% to $1.8702 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for December delivery traded down 0.17% to $2.982 per million British thermal units.

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