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How has oil been performing in recent months?

*Market Watch, by Myra P. Saefong and Christopher Alessi, March 15, 2018

”In its closely watched monthly oil-market report issued Thursday, the International Energy Agency said global oil demand should grow by 1.5 million barrels a day, to average 99.3 million barrels a day in 2018. The estimate was an upward revision of 90,000 barrels a day compared with last month’s report.

Robust demand should help offset burgeoning U.S. shale oil production, largely keeping the oil market balanced this year, according to the agency.

But some market observers cautioned that relentless supply growth, mainly out of the U.S., still poses a risk to the market rebalancing that has been under way for the past year.

”The oil market is more fragile than it seems,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Julius Baer. ”Profit-taking risks still loom large [and] strong output growth challenges the market tightening narrative,” he argued.

Nitesh Shah, commodities strategist at ETF Securities, said he was skeptical demand could grow as fast as the IEA predicts, estimating demand growth this year would be closer to 1.2 million barrels a day.

”We need very strong [demand] growth to absorb the supply that’s coming out of the U.S.,” Shah said.”

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