RJO FuturesCast

Daily Futures Market News, Commentary, & Insight

April Crude Oil closed down 0.61 at 49.67. This was 1.08 up from the low and 1.17 off the high.

April Heating Oil closed down 1.77 at 153.90. This was 2.42 up from the low and 3.24 off the high.

April RBOB Gasoline finished down 2.46 at 162.80, 3.90 off the high and 2.13 up from the low.

April Natural Gas finished up 0.08 at 2.98, 0.01 off the high and 0.09 up from the low.

In addition to ongoing capital, margin and panic liquidation, the crude oil market saw negative opinions from a widely followed analyst. The specific analyst touting the bearish condition cited the prospect of ongoing builds in inventories. With a wave of physical commodities in a liquidation posture today, it is likely that many funds were liquidating and moving to the sidelines ahead of a potentially important monthly nonfarm payroll reading on Friday. A minimally bullish market factor that was discounted by the trade today was news that European crude oil stocks declined by a little more than 1% and news that European refinery activity increased by nearly 4%. European gasoline stocks at the Amsterdam Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) hub increased to 1.157 million tonnes from 1.128 million tonnes in the prior week. European gas oil stocks at the ARA hub increased to 2.9 million tonnes from 2.8 million in the prior week. We suspect that part of the gains and natural gas prices today were the result of the unwinding of long crude oil/short natural grass spread plays by the funds. While the weekly inventory report showed a draw of 64 bcf that reading was not far from expectations. The weekly natural gas storage report showed a draw of 68 bcf. Total storage stands at 2,295 bcf or 18.8% above the 5 year average. Over the last four weeks, natural gas storage has declined 264 bcf.

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