WTI, Brent Post Losses

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Crude and product futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Intercontinental Exchange retreated from one-week highs in afternoon trade Friday after the U.S. rig count increased for the second week, while conflicting economic and supply data added to the selling pressure.

Falling from session highs, NYMEX November West Texas Intermediate futures settled fractionally lower at $53.78 barrel(bbl), while declining more than 1.5% on the week. The next month delivered December contract ended the session at a $0.09 premium to the November contract, which expires Tuesday, Oct. 22. ICE December Brent crude futures settled down $0.49 bbl at $59.42 bbl and dropped 1.8% in value from a week prior. NYMEX November ULSD futures closed down 0.1 cents at $1.9471 gallon and 0.5% lower on week. NYMEX November RBOB futures settled little changed at $1.6230 bbl, while posting a 1% weekly decline.

Oil futures swung between gains and losses Friday after the latest economic data from China showed strong growth in manufacturing and consumer spending last month, although the world's second largest economy expanded at the slowest rate in more than two decades during the third quarter. International Monetary Fund warned this week the global economy slowed this year at an alarmingly fast rate, with annualized growth at just 3% -- the weakest since the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

In the United States, economic indicators also weighed on prices this week after domestic industrial output was reported at the lowest production rate in three years last month, followed by unexpected decline in U.S. retail sales that has long been considered a pillar of growth for the domestic economy.

Adding to mixed signals, U.S. supply data this week showed a fifth consecutive build in commercial crude stocks, with the build the third largest over the past year, while inventories for gasoline and distillate fuels posted sizable draws.

The latest stockpile data reflects a low run rate at U.S. refineries amid seasonal maintenance programs, with refinery utilization sliding to 83.1% of capacity last week -- a more than two-year low.

U.S. crude output remained at a record high of 12.6 million barrels per day (bpd) for the second week through Oct. 11, while Baker Hughes reported an uptick in the U.S. oil rig count. Friday afternoon, Baker Hughes reported the number of active oil rigs in the United States rose by one in the past week to 713, the second increase after seven weeks of declines, indicating higher future oil output.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com


Liubov Georges