A day after hitting a nearly seven-week nadir, crude oil futures regained traction on Thursday but still ended the day lower.
“After falling to fresh lows Wednesday, oil prices stabilized on Thursday – trading in a tight range of less than a dollar per barrel for both the September WTI contract and the October Brent contract,” said Delia Morris, Houston-based commodity pricing analyst. “Yesterday’s developments around an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China continued to weigh on prices.”
The WTI traded from $66.49 to $67.41 before settling at $66.81 a barrel – a 13-cent decline for the day. Meanwhile, the Brent lost 21 cents to end Thursday’s session at $72.07 a barrel.
“The downside risk of China imposing tariffs on U.S. exports of gasoline and diesel, and also potentially crude oil, is driving price movements more than any future price benefits, such as the reinstatement of Iranian sanctions, which could remove substantial supply from global markets,” said Morris.
September gasoline futures also declined Thursday, losing two cents to end the day just under $2.00 a gallon.
Henry Hub natural gas futures bucked the overall trend for the day, edging upward less than a penny to settle at $2.955 per million British thermal units.