Crude Oil Lower Ahead Of Stocks Data

Crude oil is lower ahead of today's stocks data from the US Energy Dept., which is expected to show inventories rising by around a million barrels for the week ending Feb. 13.

The Dow Jones Index closed at it's lowest level since 1997 last night as the global economic situation worsens.

That doesn't forebode well for crude oil demand, if the market is going to rally then the supply & demand balance needs to be tipped in favour of demand.

US refineries are running at well below capacity, whist OPEC have cut production by around a million barrels/day, but still US stocks continue to rise.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma - where the West Texas contract is based - have reached all-time highs, pushing Brent to around a two dollar premium over the US contract whereas it normally trades at a discount.