EIA Crude Oil Preview, May 28th: Data to confirm a huge build?

WTI crude oil and Brent oil are cautiously higher ahead of today’s US oil inventories report.

The official weekly report from the Energy Information Administration is expected to show a drop of nearly 2 million barrels.

Crude oil dives as API data shows surprise build

But data yesterday from the American Petroleum Institute stunned markets with a surprise 8.1 million barrel build. Like the upcoming EIA data, forecasts had been for a draw of 2 million barrels.

WTI crude oil futures contracts for delivery in August have been range bound since the middle of May, with $32 providing support and resistance at $35 keeping a ceiling on rallies.

Chart: WTI crude oil futures contracts, August delivery

Candlestick graph for WTI crude oil August futures contracts, May 28th 2020

Traders have struggled to find direction: on the one hand, the reopening of global economies will help stimulate demand, but on the other, the world remains awash with excess supply.

Sentiment had already taken a hit yesterday even before the API data, as reports cast doubt over Russia’s commitment to OPEC+ production cuts.

Tensions between the US and China over a new security law for Hong Kong is also weighing on risk-appetite, although so far today oil has continued to find bid.

The API data saw crude oil prices fall over $2 per barrel, while Brent was off over $1.50. If the EIA data confirms that inventories rose again last week, today’s gains could quickly turn to losses.

Chart: Brent oil futures contracts, August delivery

Candlestick price chart for Brent oil August futures contracts