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Crude oil futures prices have come under pressure during today on concern of declining consumption by largest oil consuming nations. The General Administration of Customs of People Republic of Chinahas reported a significant decline in the trade balance for the month of July. The balance was much worse than forecasted based leading indicators and preliminary reports.
There is now growing concerns for lower fuel oil demand as US and China both have released a lower import data for the last month. This will most certainly keep oil prices under pressure.
Industrial production from Japan, the third largest oil importer also showed a decline which continues to have a negative impact oil prices.
Most indices are trading under pressure and should continue to support the bearish trend in oil prices.
The euro is trading under pressure as hopes of easing euro-zone debt crisis has been offset which is creating concern on economic growth, after the growth forecast has been downgraded. The OECD released a report yesterday showing a cross the board slowdown of growth.
From economic data calendar, US import price index is expected to increase indicating lower import may further pressure on oil prices. The US monthly budget statement is expected today also.
From the fundamental front, the National Hurricane center, hurricane season is active with presence of more than two tropical cyclone in Gulf Coast region. Hurricane season runs from late July through early November. This year does not have a higher than average amount of storms thus far. Although each storm is individual and can wreck havoc so markets are showing concern of supply disturbances which may limit the fall in oil prices.
Gas prices are hovering below $2.93/MMBTU in international market with a marginal loss from yesterday's closing. Concern of lower demand from largest energy consumer US and China might be weighing on gas prices, after US and China import has been declined in the last month. On the other side, as per US energy department, natural gas demand has been climbed up by 0.75 percent, highly contributed by industrial sector. Contraction of more than 1.5 % demand is seen in residential sector due to mild weather in US. This might limit the gain in gas prices.
Overall natural gas is down on lower temperatures and higher than expected inventory reports this week from the Energy Administration.