LONDON (ICIS)--Crude futures opened in negative territory, falling from the previous session’s high when the NYMEX contract rose buoyed by a 1.1m barrel fall in crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub and a smaller-than-expected build in overall US oil stocks.
Brent extended its losses as Europe opened, pressured by a surprise drop in eurozone consumer confidence in February, before trading sideways through to the US opening.
The NYMEX, which had been relatively range bound, rose sharply as the US opened, as durable goods orders dropped by a lower-than-expected 1% in January. However, it then plunged to a new low, pressured by a firm US dollar, with Brent falling in tandem.
Both benchmark grades staged a slight recovery, albeit in a fairly choppy manner, and prices were fairly volatile over the following few hours. A late rally took prices well above the earlier lows, but both Brent and the NYMEX closed in negative territory.
April Brent closed the day down 56 cents/bbl at $108.96/bbl, having traded in a range between $108.68/bbl and $109.45/bbl.
April West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed the day down 19 cents/bbl at $102.40/bbl, having traded in a range between $101.75/bbl and $103.08/bbl.
Additional reporting by Tony Dillon