Following a weak performance for two weeks, crude oil started this week with an improved sentiment. However, the market lost strength as the week progressed. In the early hours on Friday, crude oil prices are trading with strength above the opening prices.
Crude oil prices were strong at the beginning of the week due to the North Sea crude oil pipeline outage. The market sentiment is mixed amid the drawdown in inventory levels and profit-booking. According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, US crude stock fell by 5.117 MMbbls (million barrels) last week. It’s a bigger inventory drawdown than the expected reading of a fall by 3.759 MMbbls. On the other hand, the increasing US oil output is limiting the upward movement in the crude oil market.
At 6:30 AM EST on December 15, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for January 2018 delivery were trading at $57.34 per barrel—a gain of 0.53%. The Brent crude oil futures for February 2018 delivery rose 0.11% to $63.42 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $34.48 after falling 1% on December 14.
Copper regained strength this week and rose in the first four trading days. China’s improved market sentiment amid upbeat economic data is supporting copper prices. China’s stronger-than-expected manufacturing data improved the demand outlook for copper and supported the prices in the early hours on Friday.
Gold (GLD) and silver (SLW) are stronger in the early hours on Friday. Amid weakness in the dollar, gold moved higher for two days and traded with strength on Friday. The dented global risk appetite also supported gold prices. The pullback in the US dollar supports the prices of dollar-denominated commodities like copper, gold, and silver. Platinum is strong, while palladium is flat in the early hours on Friday.