March crude oil traded lower during the early morning hours, as it tried to consolidate the 9.0% surge during the last two sessions. It appears that some of the weakness came in response to weaker than expected Chinese Purchasing Manager data that reached a new five-month low. However, some traders noted concern after crude oil struggled in the face of a weaker US Dollar and growing unrest in Egypt. It is possible that Egypt's decision to deploy more troops to secure the Suez Canal and the Sumed pipeline has eased some anxiety of a block developing. For now, reports suggest that the Suez Canal remains operating at normal capacity, but it remains a key focal point going forward. While OPEC stands ready to boost supplies, they indicate that there is no real danger in the area and they see no immediate need to boost output.
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