After rising by $20/bbl since the start of the year, crude oil prices retreated on May 23, likely due to profit-taking and squaring of positions by funds in the wake of mixed economic outlook factors. Previously announced cuts of production by OPEC of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) and solid earnings reports by most companies had helped fuel the previous 45 percent rally for 2019. After last week’s sharp drop, the market closed slightly higher on May 24 and seems poised for further gains today. Weakness in demand may provide some resistance to sustained gains, however: U.S. production continues to grow, and U.S. inventories have been climbing to their highest levels in several years despite importing fewer barrels of petroleum.
U.S. crude oil, days of supply
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