Oil Futures Settle Lower After OPEC Lowers Demand Forecast

Crude oil futures turned weak after a solid start on Thursday, weighed down by a downward revision in demand forecast by OPEC.

Oil prices climbed higher earlier in the session amid concerns that Tropical Storm Barry could derail crude production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Additionally, tensions in the Middle East deepened on reports that three Iranian boats “attempted to impede” a British oil tanker in the Gulf.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended down $0.23, or about 0.4%, at $60.20 a barrel.

On Tuesday, WTI crude oil futures for August ended up $2.60, or about 4.5%, at $60.43 a barrel, a seven-week high.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in its monthly report, forecast global crude demand from its members in 2020 is likely to be 29.27 million barrels per day, down 1.34 million bpd from this year.

The forecast points to the return of a surplus despite an OPEC-led pact to restrain supplies.

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has denied reports that it its naval forces attempted to obstruct the British tanker in the Persian Gulf.

Tropical storm Barry is forecast to intensify quickly in the next couple of days. The system is expected to become the first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic season, according to forecasters.

Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) Wednesday morning showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 9.5 million barrels in the week ended July 5, nearly five times the expected drop. That was the fourth straight weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories.

The EIA report also said that gasoline inventories were down 1.5 million barrels in the week to July 5, higher than an expected fall of 1.3 million barrels.

Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles increased by 3.7 million barrels, beating forecasts for an increase of 0.74 million barrels.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com