MTECHTIPS:-WTI crude settles below $50, as Iran review and supply concerns weigh
WTI crude fell to fresh four-month lows on Thursday settling below $50 a barrel, as concerns related to the Iranian Nuclear Pact and a glut of oversupply in energy markets worldwide remained in focus. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for September delivery traded between $48.22 and $49.62 before settling at $48.42 a barrel, down 0.73 or 1.49%. At one point, Texas Long Sweet futures plunged to its lowest level since April 2. U.S. crude future have closed lower on six of the last seven trading sessions, losing approximately 10% of its value since July 15. On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), brent crude for September delivery wavered between $55.12 and $56.52 before closing at $55.24 a barrel, down 0.89 or 1.57%. Over the last month, brent futures have fallen in value by roughly 13%. Meanwhile, the spread between the international and U.S. benchmarks of crude stood at 6.82, just above Wednesday’s level of 6.81 at the close of trading. Traders continued to digest a surprising inventory build last week. In its weekly Petroleum Status Report on Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels for the week ending on July 17. Analysts expected a draw of 2.2 million barrels on the week. Crude inventories nationwide are now at 463.9 million barrels the highest level at this time of year in at least 80 years. At the Cushing Oil Hub in Oklahoma, the main delivery point for NYMEX oil, its crude inventory increased by 813,000 last week, above expectations for a 300,000 build.