COVID-19 cases continued to surge in the United States, with more than a million new cases in just six days, and Americans were warned again to avoid travelling for Christmas, further dampening fuel demand. U.S. crude oil stocks rose in the most recent week, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed. Crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels in the week to Dec. 18 to about 497.7 million barrels, compared with expectations for a draw of 3.2 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 341,000 barrels, API said.
Refinery crude runs rose by 76,000 barrels per day, API data showed. Gasoline stocks fell by 224,000 barrels, compared with expectations in a poll for a build of 1.2 million barrels. Iran sees Russia as a “strategic partner” and the two countries share close views within the OPEC+ alliance, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted by the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency SHANA as saying in Moscow.
Technically market is under short covering as market has witnessed a drop in open interest by -1.89% to settled at 1143 while prices up 82 rupees, now Crude oil is getting support at 3460 and below same could see a test of 3354 levels, and resistance is now likely to be seen at 3631, a move above could see prices testing 3696.
# Crude oil trading range for the day is 3354-3696.
# Crude oil gained as support seen after U.S. crude stocks, gasoline and distillate inventories fell last week.
# Crude inventories fell by 562,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 18 to 499.5 million barrels.
# API reported crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels in the week to Dec. 18