Oil Rises as Fuel Demand Outweighs Equity Slump, Dollar Gain

(Bloomberg) -- Oil posted the first gain in three days as a government report showing stronger U.S. fuel demand overshadowed a slump in equities.

Futures closed 0.8 percent higher after rising as much as 1.4 percent earlier in the session. The day’s gains were limited by a strengthening greenback and faltering equities, while Wednesday’s inventory report showed growing demand and a substantial drop in fuel stockpiles that offset a large crude build.

“I think the report’s details were much less bearish than the headline,” said Kyle Cooper, consultant at Ion Energy Group in Houston. “There’s a slight bias higher, but not huge, with prices driven by equities and the next tweet. That’s just the reality of the market now.”

Oil Rises as Fuel Demand Outweighs Equity Slump, Dollar Gain

Oil has climbed this week as OPEC continues to cut production as part of its agreement to help balance global oil markets. Investors also await updates on trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery rose 44 cents to close at $56.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for May settlement gained 31 cents to settle at $66.30 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude was at a $9.27 premium over WTI for the same month.

Oil’s gains have been checked by fears of slowing global growth. The ECB President Mario Draghi announced Thursday that the bank was revising its outlook for Eurozone growth downward and would increase its stimulus efforts accordingly.

“This global economic slowdown is really weighing on the oil outlook,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund focused on energy. “That’s what’s removed some of the gains and is certainly capping them.”

Other oil-market news:
  • Gasoline futures rose 0.9 percent to $1.8054 a gallon. 
  • Global refining runs are likely to increase by 1 million to 2 million barrels a day in 2020 to produce the additional marine gasoils required to meet tighter rules on shipping fuel that take effect next year, according to Oil Analytics.
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is cutting 10 staff in its commodities division as the bank reviews the footprint of the once-dominant unit, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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