April crude oil prices traded lower during the overnight and early morning hours, pressured by reports of slower than expected growth prospects out of China, to a new eight-year low of 7.5%. This lower than expected growth forecast weighed on global risk appetites this morning and sent world indices into negative territory. The lower China growth forecasts also weighed on global oil demand prospects. In the meantime, recent estimates on Saudi Arabian production are around 9.8 million barrels per day, leaving spare capacity around 2.5 million barrels per day. While the country continues to focus on keeping the oil market well-supplied, Iraq estimates that their daily oil production has increased to more than 3.0 million barrels per day. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 28th showed non-commercial traders were net long 333,414 contracts, an increase of 28,457. Non-commercial and non-reportable traders combined held a net long position of 371,112 contracts, an increase of 32,469 on the week. This buying trend is seen as a positive force and is about 5.0% away from the all-time high reached last year.
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