WTI higher ahead of U.S. GDP data

A view of an oil well in action at sunset at the Elk Hills oil field as gas prices rise in California, the United States, April 14, 2024.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu | Getty Images

Crude oil futures fell Thursday after disappointing U.S. economic growth.

Gross domestic product was much weaker than expected in the first quarter, coming in at 1.6% on an annualized basis, compared to 2.4% expected by a Dow Jones survey of economists. A slowdown in economic growth could weigh on crude oil demand.

Prices remained largely stable after rising earlier in the session.

Here are today’s energy prices:

  • West Texas Intermediate June contract: $82.85 per barrel, up 5 cents. Since the start of the year, American oil has gained nearly 16%.
  • Brent June contract: $88.08 per barrel, up 7 cents. Since the start of the year, the global benchmark has risen more than 14%.
  • RBOB gasoline: $2.76 per gallon, up 0.97%. Year to date, gasoline futures are up about 31%.
  • Natural gas May contract: $1.64 per thousand cubic feet. Since the start of the year, gas is down about 35%.

Oil prices closed lower on Wednesday as Goldman Sachs saw a slightly bearish market with global inventories rising. US crude is up 1% this week while Brent fell 0.2%.

Oil prices, energy news and analysis

Crude oil futures have lost $2.50 in geopolitical risk premium since last week as tensions between Israel and Iran eased, according to Piper Sandler analysts.

Oil prices are currently moving sideways, but downside risk appears limited, Piper energy analyst Jan Stuart told clients in a research note.

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WTI vs. Brent

Piper reduced the odds of a U.S. recession to a coin toss, Stuart said. Unemployment is low, sentiment is good and the outlook is not bad, he said. That means growing demand for oil as refiners move closer to capacity and more modest capacity additions, Stuart said.

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