Oil Futures Seesaw Early

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange spot-month oil futures moved mixed in choppy trade Tuesday morning. Oil futures tracked equities while boosted by a weaker U.S. dollar, offsetting mixed expectations for weekly U.S. oil inventories for the week-ended March 2.

In equities trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened more than 100 points higher, but have pared the gains in volatile fast moving trade. The dollar fell to a one-week low this morning, with the dollar and oil having an inverse relationship.

Investors are upbeat amid easing geopolitical risks after South Korea said North Korea is now willing to denuclearize in exchange for direct talks with the United States and security guarantees. President Donald Trump cautiously welcomed the news.

U.S. supplies of gasoline and middle distillates are estimated to have been drawn down by 2.0 million bbl and 2.5 million bbl, respectively, during the week-ended March 2, according to analyst Kyle Cooper at IAF Advisors. Due to ongoing seasonal maintenance program, domestic commercial crude oil supplies are expected to have increased by 3.5 million bbl last week, Cooper added. However, crude supply at the Cushing depot in Oklahoma is expected to have declined again.

At last look, NYMEX March West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 5cts at $62.52 bbl, while Intercontinental Exchange April Brent crude was flat at $65.54 bbl. Brent is trading at a roughly $3 bbl premium to WTI.

NYMEX March ULSD futures eased 0.49cts to $1.8918 gallon, while March RBOB futures was down 0.73cts at $1.9276 gallon.

George Orwel can be reached at george.orwel@dtn.com