MTECHTIPS;-Crude oil futures – weekly outlook: August 21 – 25

MTECHTIPS;-Crude oil futures – weekly outlook: August 21 – 25

MTECHTIPS-Oil prices settled sharply higher on Friday, jumping about 3% in a surprise rally amid reports of a unit shutdown at one of the largest oil refineries in the U.S., as well as data showing a weekly fall in the number of active domestic oil rigs. Traders piled into crude contracts after reports surfaced that a unit at Exxon (NYSE: XOM ) Mobil’s Bay-town, Texas refinery shut down. The 584,000 barrel-a-day plant is the second-largest refinery in the U.S. The report surfaced ahead of an update from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Friday morning, showing its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the U.S. last week fell by five rigs to a total of 763. The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand. Aside from supply and demand, investors also bought up oil contracts amid a broader market rally sparked by Steve Cannon’s departure from the White House. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract surged $1.42, or around 3%, to end at $48.51 a barrel. It slumped to its lowest since July 25 at $46.46 a day earlier

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