Crude oil flat to weaker in Asia as API estimates ahead


© Reuters.  Crude flat to weaker in Asia© Reuters. Crude flat to weaker in Asia – Crude oil prices were flat to weaker in Asia on Tuesday with industry estimates of crude and refined product stocks from the American Petroleum Institute in the U.S. ahead.

Analysts surveyed Monday by S&P Global Platts expect US crude stocks rose 10.1 million barrels. Inventories of gasoline and distillate were expected to fall 4 million barrels and 300,000 barrels, respectively.

On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration will release official figures.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for October delivery fell 0.04% to $48.05 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was quoted flat at 53.84 a barrel.

Overenight, oil prices settled higher on Monday amid an uptick in sentiment after Saudi Arabia said its oil minister held talks with counterparts over the possibility of extending the supply-cut agreement beyond March 2018.

Saudi Arabia, Opec’s de facto leader and the world’s largest exporter, said Sunday that the country’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih met with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts to discuss an extension of Opec’s supply-cut agreement.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts of 1.8m barrels per day for a period of nine months until March 2018 but rising production from the U.S., Nigeria and Libya has undermined the oil cartel’s efforts to curb excess supply.

The uptick in sentiment on oil prices comes against concerns that falling U.S. oil demand could weigh on crude futures in the wake of Hurricane Irma which made landfall in the U.S. over the weekend.

“We believe that Irma will have a negative impact on oil demand but not on oil production or processing,” Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) analysts said in a note.

Meanwhile, monthly reports from the Opec and International Every Agency due Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, are expected to provide market participants with an update on Opec production and global demand forecasts.

Opec has faced criticism in recent months as investors question the oil cartel’s commitment to curb production after Opec’s compliance rate with output cuts fell to its lowest this year in July.

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