U.S. crude futures edged up early on Tuesday, but the market outlook remains bearish as supply still exceeds demand and due to worries the dollar will strengthen when the U.S. Federal Reserve eventually raises interest rates.
Benchmark U.S. crude futures CLc1 were trading at $46.27 per barrel at 7.28 p.m. ET, up 13 cents from their last settlement. The slight rise followed falls in the previous session as Russian production hit a post-Soviet peak while China’s demand outlook weakened.
“Crude continues to remain under pressure due to emerging supply-side news and slowing Chinese demand. Russian oil output broke a post-Soviet record in October for the fourth time this year. News from Iran is also painting a negative picture,” ANZ bank said in a morning note.
In North America, U.S. crude oil stockpiles likely rose by 2.7 million barrels last week, growing for a sixth consecutive week, a Reuters poll showed. Industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) will issue its preliminary inventory data on Tuesday before official numbers on Wednesday from the U.S. government.
At the same time, traders are keeping an eye on U.S. monetary policy as a rise in American interest rates would likely push up the dollar against other currencies, making oil imports more expensive in some other countries.
“With the focus on U.S. economic data this week, anything supportive of the Fed raising rates could see commodity markets come under some pressure,” ANZ said.