Crude Oil Backs Away From Fresh Highs On EIA Natural Gas Buildup  

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  • WTI tumbled back below $81.00 on Friday, tested $81.50.
  • The EIA reported a surprise buildup in natural gas reserves, clipping drawdown hopes.
  • US Crude Oil productivity remains close to all-time highs.
  • West Texas Intermediate (WTI) US Crude Oil hit a fresh high for the week early Friday before slumping back into negative territory for the day after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that US Crude Oil production remains near all-time peaks and a larger-than-expected buildup in Natural Gas reserves.The EIA reported a 71 billion cubic feet (Bcf) increase in the amount of available working natural gas in storage, bringing US reserves to a multi-month high of 3,045 Bcf for the week ended June 14. The previous week’s increase of 74 Bcf was expected to a steeper drop in buildup to only 69 Bcf.With natural gas reserves filling up ahead of peak summertime cooling demand, Crude Oil is less likely to see meaningful increases in demand, trimming hopes of a steeper drawdown during the summer.US Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) figures for June also beat the street on Friday, pressing down on broad-market hopes for rate cuts. With the Federal Reserve (Fed) unlikely to get forced into an accelerated pace of rate cuts in 2024, Crude Oil markets are second-guessing near-term bullishness as investors lean deeply into rate trim hopes to ease lending and financing costs.

    WTI technical outlook
     Hesitating bulls have crimped topside momentum in WTI on Friday, dragging intraday price action back into range of near-term rising trendlines. Firmer technical support is sitting at the 200-hour Exponential Moving Average (EMA) at $79.35. Despite a hesitation in the second-half of Friday’s US market session, US Crude Oil managed to etch out a fresh seven-week high above $81.60 before settling lower.Daily candlesticks are beginning to show signs of exhaustion as WTI’s technical recovery above the 200-day EMA at $78.87 begins to run out of steam. Barring a resurgence in firm bidding, WTI could be primed for a tumble back to the last swing low near $72.50.

    WTI hourly chart
    WTI daily chart
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