Crude Oil Today - WTI down, Brent up

Market Analysis /
Greg McKenna / 11 Sep 2018

Welcome to Crude Oil Today, my brief look at what's happening in oil markets and what it might mean for prices. 

As ever, feedback welcome


There was divergence between Brent and WTI with the former up 0.7% to $77.37 while the later fell 0.3% to $67.54 erasing earlier gains after some conflicting inventory data from Genscape and Bloomberg. It highlights the worries traders have about the trade war and impact on global oil demand. One bright spot though, US exports to South Korea hit a new high data overnight showed.


You know a market is searching, reaching even, for direction when we see it react nervously to the second tier inventory data from Genscape and Bloomberg.

Okay, I might be overegging it a little because I did say to keep an eye out for the Genscape data it in yesterday's note and it's true it has been important for attitudes toward Cushing inventories and thus thoughts around Chinese demand for US oil.

So what we saw was positive inventory news from Genscape counteracted by Bloomberg reports and that reversed the early gains in WTI – sharply. That it didn’t impact Brent speaks to the differing drivers at the margins of the two contracts. There are still plenty of battles and other influences to disrupt Brent supply which has kept traders interested overnight.

So, what do I garner from the price action overnight? Nothing fresh really – in a macro sense, we have fears of trade war-induced economic slowdown hurting demand while we also have fears of Iran and other disruptions igniting prices.

For the moment that adds up to range trading.

Price wise, focussing on WTI today, I’d have to say the candle looks awful on the dailies (4-hours too) which suggests if Friday’s low around $66.84 breaks we could see a big fall. It has to break first though and any push above yesterday's high would negate the negative outlook for the moment. 

Click on me, I'll expand
Click on me, I'll expand

Please note I talk about both Brent and WTI each day in my Markets Video.


Looking at the day ahead the NAB business survey is the highlight for me because it will help give a steer as to whether worries about households are likely to impact growth materially. Tonight it’s UK unemployment, EU employment and ZEW economic sentiment survey while Germany has its version of the survey out as well. In the US it’s JOLTS and wholesale inventories.

Have a great day's trading.

Greg McKenna

Chief Market Strategist

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