Crude Oil Drifting, Retail Sales in FocusCrude oil has posted small losses for a second straight day. Investors will be keeping an eye on retail sales, which will be released at 13:30 GMT.
Crude oil has enjoyed a quiet week and is showing limited movement in Friday trade. In the North American session, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are trading at $56.44, down $0.43 or 0.70%. Brent crude oil futures are trading at $61.70, up $0.62 or 1.03%.
Ahead – Investors Eye Retail Sales
Investors are keeping an eye on October U.S. retail sales, which will be released later on Friday. Retail sales are expected to improve to 0.1%, after a disappointing decline of -0.3% in September. The core release is projected to improve to 0.3%, up from -0.1%. Retail sales is the primary gauge of consumer spending, and a strong release could boost investor risk appetite.
Crude Inventory Surpluses Continue
U.S. crude inventory reports continue to show surpluses, which is weighing on crude prices. On Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) weekly report showed a surplus of 0.5 million barrels. This was shy of the forecast of 1.6 million. This was followed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report, which is closely followed by investors. This week’s report showed a surplus of 2.2 million, which was considerably smaller than the two previous releases. Still, this reading easily beat the forecast of 1.5 million. The EIA has reported only one drawdown in the past eight weeks, as the crude stockpiles remain at high levels.
Crude has been range-bound for over a week. The 200-EMA remains relevant, as it is located just above where crude is currently trading. We continue to see pressure on resistance at 57.65 – crude tested this line as recently as Thursday. Close by, there is resistance at 58.15. On the downside, the pair has room to move lower. There is no support until the 55- line.