Oil steadies as equities gain, but concern builds over supply | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 16, 2018

Oil steadies as equities gain, but concern builds over supply

Oil prices were broadly steady on Thursday, supported by a pickup in equity markets, but held back by evidence that supply will overtake demand this year.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were last down 13 cents on the day at $64.76 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 1 cent at $60.97 a barrel.

Global oil demand is expected to pick up this year but supply is growing at a faster pace, leading to a rise in inventories in the first quarter of 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

“Oil and (the stock market) have been moving hand in hand ... which basically means oil is extremely sensitive to the growth outlook,” SEB commodity strategist Bjarne Schieldrop said, adding he still expected demand growth to reach 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) this year.

European equity markets were buoyed by strong earnings from several key financial firms, while US stock index futures SPc1 pointed to a pickup on Wall Street later.

The oil price has moved in sync with stocks uninterruptedly for the past 99 trading days, the longest such stretch in two years.

Opec and several other non-Opec producers led by Russia began cutting supply in January 2017 to erase a global glut of crude that had built up since 2014.

The IEA and Opec both reported a modest rise in global inventory levels in January.

Looming over markets has been a relentless climb in US crude output C-OUT-T-EIA, which hit another record last week by rising to 10.38 million bpd, up by more than 23 percent since mid-2016.

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