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Refined Products

Recap: Oil futures fell on Thursday, as pressure from robust product inventories in the U.S. stemmed four consecutive days of gains. Prices were spurred higher at the beginning of the week, as tensions in Iraq heightened, and as the Iranian nuclear deal appeared to becoming unraveled. Today’s session most likely involved profit-taking, which pushed prices to a new low for the week. November WTI fell 75 cents, or 1.4% to settle at $51.29 a barrel, while Brent for December delivery lost 92 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $57.23 a barrel.

November WTI fell below the ascending trend line for the first time in 9 sessions, but fell shy of reaching $51.03, the 10-day moving average. Coming into Friday, we would look for a run at this average. Through this level, support is set at $50.70 and below that at $49.30. Resistance rests at $52.19 and $52.40. For the first time in a week, December heating oil settled below its 10-day moving average, but fell short of reaching $1.7624, support provided by the downward trend line. Coming into Friday’s session, we would look for this soon to be spot contract to make an attempt at testing this line. Below this level, support is set at $1.7515. Resistance is set at $1.7890 and $1.7935.

November RBOB rose 0.1 % to $1.645 a gallon, but November heating oil shed 1.5% to $1.777 a gallon.

Fundamental News: Reuters reported Thursday that crude oil flows through the Iraqi Kurdish pipeline to Turkey were reportedly fluctuating between 200,000-240,000 b/d. Disruptions along the line began on Tuesday, due to the shutdown of 350,000 b/d of production from the Bai Hasan and Avana oil fields. Iraqi oil officials expect production from these fields should resume by Sunday. Iraqi oil officials claimed that Kurdish authorities removed equipment from these two fields and that is what caused the disruption in production.

Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it had lifted its force majeure on Bonny Light crude exports. The company had declared force majeure a month ago following a shutdown of the Nembe Creek Trunk line, one of the two main pipelines that ship Bonny Light to the export terminal.

The OPEC secretary-general said Thursday there is no doubt that the international oil market is rebalancing and doing so at an accelerating pace. A balanced oil market is in sight he noted as global demand continues to grow at a robust pace. He noted that OECD stocks fell further in September and stand about 160 million barrels above the 5 year average. He also noted that the preliminary numbers for September show that compliance with the current production agreement is higher than August. He noted that consultations are ongoing for the agenda for OPEC’s November 30th meeting, but declined to comment on whether a deeper production cut will be needed. He noted that OPEC is currently discussing ways on making its coalition permanent with 10 and possibly more non-OPEC producers to manage oil market balances. He also noted that OPEC is “satisfied” that Nigeria and Libya are making a recovery on their output.

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Nov  $51.00, down 25 cents

RBOB - Nov $1.6455, up 7 points

HO -Nov $1.7825, up 52 points

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Natural Gas

Thursday, October 19th saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.858, nearly even to Wednesday’s closing price of $2.854.  Trading evenly over the day’s initial ninety minutes, as traders eagerly awaited the weekly storage report, the contract then plummeted lower as the weekly publication was released.  Losing ground in the subsequent hour to mark a seven-month intraday low of $2.773, bullish traders then entered the market and drove the contract upward.  Ascending past $2.860 by 1:00PM, November managed to close higher on Thursday at $2.873.

The EIA Natural Gas Storage Report published on Thursday showed a 51 BCF injection to storage for the week ended October 13th – above the market estimate of 45 BCF.  Total working gas in storage was reported as 3,646 BCF; 4.7% below this time last year and 1.0% below the five-year average.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was down 38 cents; Natural Gas was unchanged; Heating Oil was up slightly; and, Gasoline was unchanged.  

Natural Gas Glossary

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