August 27, 2023 [Microsoft Start] – The benchmark crude WTI is down 1.7% to $78.30 today as of 10:43 a.m. EST. Prices are now virtually back to where they were a month ago, as weak economic signals and demand worries from China continue to weigh on sentiment.
The property market in the world’s second-biggest economy remains weak (real estate investments in China declined by 8.5% last week), even as the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on, with Ukraine carrying out drone strikes inside Russia. Additionally, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s upcoming Jackson Hole speech is a key event to keep an eye on.
Numbers from the Energy Information Administration point to a decrease of nearly 6.1 million barrels in crude inventories during the week ended August 18. In comparison, analysts were expecting a decrease of only 2.8 million barrels for the week.
Furthermore, numbers from the American Petroleum Institute suggest a decrease of nearly 2.4 million barrels in U.S. commercial stockpiles during the week ended August 18. Meanwhile, natural gas is also down nearly 1.6% to $2.52 today and remains 7.4% lower over the past month. The decline comes after Hurricane Hilary and Tropical Storm Harold did not result in any major damage to production facilities in the U.S.
The United States Oil Fund ETF (USO) is down 1.69% to $71.06 today but is still up 11.4% over the past three months.
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