The spread between Brent and WTI widened on Monday as the front month contract on Brent gained about 0.3 percent while WTI price edged slightly lower. The intraday volatility remained rather low ahead of this week’s key events (US GDP, Payrolls, PMI’s, Fed, ECB etc.).
Apart from the above-mentioned key events, the oil market (particularly those traders who are betting on Brent-WTI spread) may focus on data on US petroleum stockpiles (Wednesday). EIA reports released in the last couple of weeks unveiled unexpectedly sharp decline in US commercial crude oil inventories; crude stocks in Cushing (US Midwest or PADD II) fell by about 5.5 million barrels over past three weeks (due to both increased pipeline capacity and usage of other means of oil transport) and are seen at the lowest level since early November 2012. Despite this draw, however, the overall US inventories remain well above 20-year average and the draw stems mainly from higher refinery utilization rates and falling crude imports.
Today in early trading, copper erases yesterday’s gains on yet another disappointing set of China’s macroeconomic data which showed that economic growth in the majority of the country’s provinces missed the target in the first half of this year. At the same time, China’s refined copper production continues to grow fast – in the first five months of 2013, the production grew by 17 percent Y/Y in comparison with the same period of previous year.