Market Overview

Oil Demand Outlook Murky

Oil Demand Outlook Murky

Brent crude oil slipped on Thursday night after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed that US crude inventories in Crushing, Oklahoma rose for the first time since July.

The news put pressure on the commodity and added to negative market sentiment stemming from the US budget battle.

Related: Market Primer: Friday, October 18: S&P 500 Hits Record High, Dollar Suffers

Although Congress passed a last minute deal to avoid sovereign default, the incident has left a bad taste in investors' mouths and has many worried that markets will relive the experience in just a few months. The US government passed a bill on Thursday morning which reopened the Federal government until January 15 and extended the nation's borrowing authority until February 7. The lack of a concrete solution coupled with lasting damage from the shutdown has weighed on Brent prices.

Brent prices found some support from Chinese data which indicated growth in the third quarter. The number two oil consuming nation's GDP grew 7.8 percent in the third quarter, its fastest growth spurt in 2013.

Gains from the GDP data were mitigated by another Chinese release which showed that implied oil demand in the nation had fallen. Reuters reported that China's implied oil demand fell 1.8 percent in September from last year's figures.

Geopolitical tension in Iran which has historically supported oil prices has been easing as Western leaders work together with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to address concerns about the nation's disputed nuclear program. Although most expect that it will be months, if not years before sanctions on Iranian oil are lifted, the talks between the two sides have been productive.


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