Oil Mixed in Wednesday Morning Trade

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) spot-month oil futures were mixed Wednesday morning with the West Texas Intermediate crude contract pressured lower by stock market losses and data showing a bigger-than-expected build in U.S. crude oil inventories.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) late Tuesday reported commercial crude oil inventories increased last week by 5.7 million barrel (bbl) that more than doubled an expected build of 2.75 million bbl.

API showed a build of 1.5 million bbl for distillates and a decline of 4.5 million bbl for gasoline. The market expected draws of 2.8 million bbl for distillates and 2.0 million bbl for gasoline.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is scheduled to publish its weekly oil data at 10:30 a.m. ET.

On Tuesday, EIA's monthly Short-term Energy Outlook trimmed expected global oil demand for 2018, while raising its supply forecast for the United States and other producers that are not part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

EIA adjusted up its estimated U.S. crude production by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) from last month's outlook, now projecting a year-on-year output growth rate of 1.4 million bpd to a 10.7 million bpd record high for 2018. Non-OPEC supply is expected to increase at a 2.51 million bpd annual rate to 61.18 million bpd this year, revised up 140,000 bpd versus its February estimate.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index are set to open lower after dropping 400 points overnight before trimming losses to 200 points down, with Tuesday's resignation of Gary Cohn as President Donald Trump's economic advisor roiling markets.

Cohn is a mainstream free market advocate whose exit could signal a turn by the White House to economic isolationism that raises the prospect of a trade war that jeopardizes economic growth. The European Union has said they would retaliate with their own tariffs on U.S. exports.

At 9 a.m. ET, NYMEX April WTI crude futures were down 27 cents at $62.33 bbl while ICE May Brent crude was down 17 cents at $65.62 bbl. NYMEX April ULSD futures were 0.17 cents higher at $1.9050 gallon. April RBOB futures climbed 1.03 cents to $1.9434 gallon.

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