Crude retreats on profit-taking, increasing drilling rig counts: 3/26 PM
The May WTI crude oil futures contract in NYMEX ACCESS trade at 16:15 Tokyo time on Monday was at $65.52 per barrel (bbl), down 43cts from morning on the same day while the May Brent contract in ICE After Hours Trading was at $70.15/bbl, down 49cts.
Perceptions of ample supply triggered selling of crude futures in the afternoon trade, said Takayuki Nogami, a chief economist at Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC). Weak equity prices in the US caused by concerns of an economic slowdown amid increases in tariffs on US imports from China made market players avoid taking risks. As a result, crude futures were under selling pressure. Meanwhile, US oil company Baker Hughes reported last Friday that US drilling rig counts in the week to Mar 23 rose by 4 units to 804 from the previous week. A supply glut from the US was cited as a bearish factor for crude futures.
The Nikkei Stock Average gained 148.24 points to end the day at 20,766.10 as the dollar traded at 105.09 against the yen.