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Chinese PMI data trumps a strong inventory report

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Chinese PMI data trumps a strong inventory report

Oil prices moved lower on Wednesday morning ahead of data released by the Department of Energy.  Tuesday’s slightly worse than expected American Petroleum Institute estimate of inventories, failed to offset disappointing PMI data released by the HSBC on Wednesday.  WTI has recently shown strength and is now trading at the same level as benchmark Brent crude oil.

On Tuesday evening the American Petroleum Institute released their report on inventory.  According to API crude supplies fell 1.4 million barrels for the week ended July 19. Analyst survey showed a forecast for a 2.6 million-barrel decline. The API reported gasoline stockpiles down roughly 900,000 barrels and distillate supplies down by about 700,000 barrels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to rise by 800,000 barrels and looked for a climb of 1.9 million barrels in distillates.

On Wednesday morning the Energy Information Administration released its official estimate of inventory. According to the EIA, U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 2.8 million barrels from the previous week. Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.4 million barrels last week but are above the upper limit of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels last week and are near the lower limit of the average range for this time of year.

Crude oil prices moved lower moving through support near the 10-day moving average at 106.50.  Momentum is turning lower with the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index generating a sell signal as the spread (the 12-day moving average minus the 26-day moving average) crossing below the 9-day moving average of the spread.  The index moved from positive to negative territory confirming the sell signal.  The RSI (relative strength index) moved lower along with prices, printing near 63, after posted overbought levels for most of July.

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