US crude oil points to mixed trade in Asia ahead of US industry weekly inventory estimates

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U.S. crude oil prices pointed to a mixed open in Asia on Tuesday ahead of weekly U.S. inventory estimates and industrial production figures from China.

NYMEX WTI crude futures were up 0.34 percent to US$67.43 a barrel. Overnight, ICE Brent settled down 0.27 percent to US$72.61 a barrel. NYMEX WTI ended down 0.64 percent at US$67.620 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute reports its weekly estimates of U.S. crude oil and refined product stocks at 4:30 p.m. U.S. EDT with a 2.667 million barrels decline expected in crude, a 895,000 barrels build in heating oil inventories projected, and a 833,000 barrels decline in gasoline supplies forecast. The Energy Information Administration reports official data on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. U.S. EDT.

Ahead in Asia, China, the world’s top crude importer, reports industrial production, which is forecast to rise 6.3 percent; retail sales, forecast up 9.2 percent; and fixed asset investment, seen up 6.0 percent, according to forecasts on Investing.com. The industrial production data will give insight into July refinery runs.

Overnight, prices slipped after a report estimated that supplies at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for WTI rose by about 1.7 million barrels in the week through August 10 even as crude inventories at Cushing are receiving less crude as an outage at an oil processing facility in Canada has reduced flows until September.

On Monday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries, or OPEC, forecast lower demand for its crude next year at 32.05 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from its 15 members in 2019, down 130,000 bpd from last month’s forecast. OPEC said its oil output in July rose to 32.32 million bpd. Although higher than the 2019 demand forecast, it is a slight 41,000 bpd gain from June as the Saudi cut offset increases elsewhere.

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