Oil Nears $54 Level Ahead of Key Reports

By CommoditiesFOXBusiness

West Texas Intermediate Crude prices crossed the $53 dollar a barrel mark mid-morning and are now on track for the fourth day of gains. Phil Flynn, senior market analyst and FOX Business contributor, says “there is momentum that output may be peaking” after data from the Energy Information Agency on Monday indicated U.S. shale producers were slowing output.

Flynn and others are also waiting on two key supply-demand reports set to be released over the next 24-hours. Today at 4:30 p.m. ET the American Petroleum Institute (API) will release weekly inventory numbers. Then on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET the EIA will deliver its weekly take on inventories. Supply levels have been running near 80-year highs according to data last month from the EIA.

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Oil is also getting a boost from the weaker dollar which dipped after U.S. Retail rose 0.9% in March the biggest gain since November as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSE:UUP) shed nearly 1% mid-day.

Higher oil is pressuring airline and rail road stocks as observed by Charles Brady, FOX Business Network senior editor, who notes railroad giant Norfolk Southern is leading the decline. Several brokerage firms turned more cautious on the stock after the company cut its second quarter forecast late Monday. The drop in shares of Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) is the steepest in more than two years.

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