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Crude slides $1.97 lower

Posted on: April 20, 2017

The explanation for the rather dramatic decrease in WTI prompt futures remains a bit of a mystery as nothing boisterous hit news headlines. But here’s what can be said: DOE inventories published by the EIA were actually in line with expectations for a draw of -1 million barrels, refinery utilization rates increased by 1.9% to 92.9% and likely drove prices modestly lower combined with the strengthening USD.

The strengthening of the USD generally exhibits a negative correlation with the price of WTI futures and curbs their appeal, given the USD denomination of contracts. Major shale plays in May could climb to the highest levels since 2015 according to a Bloomberg article. If anything, the very premise that nothing dramatic happened with eyes set on the horizon of larger movements could have triggered a sell off. Overall, WTI settled at $50.44 on Wednesday.

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