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WTI crude prices held steady on Thursday, supported by healthy global demand but capped by the relentless rise in U.S. production that is undermining efforts led by producer cartel OPEC to cut supplies and prop up markets.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $61.03 a barrel by 0518 GMT. Brent crude futures were at $64.90 per barrel, up 1 cent from their last close.
Prices were receiving support from healthy demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Wednesday that oil consumption was expected to grow by 1.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018.
But looming over markets has been a relentless climb in U.S. crude output, which hit another record last week by rising to 10.38 million bpd, up by more than 23 percent since mid-2016. Commercial crude inventories were up by 5 million barrels, at 430.93 million barrels.
U.S. crude production, which has already overtaken that of top exporter Saudi Arabia, is expected to rise above 11 million bpd later this year, taking the top spot from Russia, according to the International Energy Agency.
“Surging U.S. output levels will continue to undermine OPEC’s efforts for stronger oil prices,” said Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures in a note on Thursday.
On the technical charts, WTI crude is trading sideways below all the moving averages (9 day, 20 day, 50 day, 100 day and 200 day). The RSI is at 45.95 and the MACD is below the signal line. The market is expected to trade in the positive zone today.
Buy stop at 61.15, Take profit at 61.40, Stop loss at 60.90