March crude oil prices came under added downside pressure during the initial morning hours after China hiked their short term interest rates by 25 basis points. Meanwhile, Egyptian tensions remain elevated, but traffic continues to flow in a normal fashion through the Suez Canal and SUMED Pipeline. Yesterday's meeting between protestors and government officials seemed to make little progress, but some traders suggested that the market's focus was more concerned with this week's expected inventory build. Early expectations are for US crude oil inventories to increase in the range of 2.20 million barrels, and for supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma to overtake last week's record of 38.3 million barrels. Some traders noted the potential for added volatility this week with the rollover of March Brent crude oil into April, and that could become a factor that tightens the spread differential between Brent and WTI.