In its weekly stockpile report, the US Energy Information Administration announced that crude supplies fell by a bigger-than-expected 1.034 million barrels during the week ended April 14th. However, gasoline stocks increased by 1.542 million barrels, defying the consensus forecast of a 1.938 million barrel decline. Last session’s outsized price slide comes weeks before OPEC and other key global producers meet to decide on whether to back an extension of the ongoing production cuts.
Analysts reckon that $50.00 is the key level to watch out, not just for its technical ramifications, but also because some shale producers may ramp up production on any dip below, which could weigh further on prices. US crude futures for June were last seen above $51.00 a barrel, boosted by a bout of short covering despite the short-term trend appearing increasingly bearish.