Crude oil futures – weekly outlook: May 18 – 22

07:22 18 May in Latest News
0 – Crude futures fell on Friday but ended higher for the week boosted by the weaker dollar as concerns over whether the recent rally in prices is running out of momentum persisted.

Crude futures for June delivery settled down 0.32% at $60.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the contract rose 0.5%.

Brent crude for July delivery, the global benchmark, added 0.2%, to settle at $66.97 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. The contract rose 0.98% on the week.

The dollar weakened across the board after a series of disappointing U.S. economic reports, including industrial production, retail sales and producer prices dampened hopes for a second quarter rebound after a sharp slowdown in growth in the first three months of the year.

The data underlined expectations that the Federal Reserve will delay hiking interest rates until the economy is on a stronger footing.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at four-month lows of 93.29 late Friday. The index ended the week down 1.8%. It was fifth consecutive weekly decline, marking the longest period of declines in four years.

A weak greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities such as oil cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Data earlier in the week showed crude stockpiles falling for the second straight week. A report from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed stockpiles declining 2.2 million barrels last week.

However the report also showed that U.S. oil production increased over the week and remained close to a multi-decade high at 9.4 million barrels a day.

U.S. oil prices have staged a recent rebound after dropping more than half from June to January, amid mounting expectations that U.S. shale oil production has peaked and may start falling in the coming months.

But global oil production is still outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil production and after OPEC’s decision last year not to cut production.

In its monthly report on Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said global crude supply was up 3.2 million barrels a day year-on-year in April, far outstripping the increase in demand.

The IEA estimated global oil demand growth of 1.1 million barrels per day this year.

The IEA also said the first drop in oil stocks since January the week before last did not spell the end of inventory builds, pointing to signs that petroleum product stocks are rising.

In the week ahead investors will be turning their attention to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve minutes for clues on the possible timing of a rate increase. Friday’s data on U.S. inflation will also be closely watched.

Meanwhile, the euro zone is to release data on private sector activity and China is to publish preliminary data on manufacturing activity.

The EIA is to release its weekly report on crude stockpiles on Wednesday.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, May 18

Japan is to publish a report on core machinery orders.

Switzerland is to release a report on retail sales.

Markets in Canada will be closed for the Patriots day holiday.

Tuesday, May 19

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.

New Zealand is to publish data on inflation expectations.

The U.K. is to release data on consumer price inflation.

In the euro zone, the ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

Later Monday, the U.S. is to publish data on building permits and housing starts.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak at an event; his comments will be closely watched.

Wednesday, May 20

Japan is to release preliminary data on first quarter economic growth.

Australia is to publish a report on consumer sentiment.

The Bank of England is to publish the minutes of its latest meeting.

Canada is to publish a report on wholesale sales.

The EIA is to release its weekly report on crude oil inventories.

The Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its most recent monetary policy meeting.

Thursday, May 21

China is to publish preliminary reading of the HSBC manufacturing index.

The euro zone is to publish reports on private sector activity. The ECB is to publish its meeting minutes later in the day.

The U.K. is to produce data on retail sales and industrial order expectations.

The U.S. is to release a string of reports including initial jobless claims, existing home sales and a look at manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Friday, May 22

The Bank of Japan is to announce its monetary policy decision and hold a press conference following the announcement.

In the euro zone, the Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

The U.K. is to release data on public sector borrowing.

ECB President Mario Draghi and BoE Governor Mark Carney are both to speak at an event in Portugal; their comments will be closely watched.

Canada is to release data on consumer inflation and retail sales.

The U.S. is to round up the week with a report on consumer inflation.