Oil finishes at lowest level in almost three weeks (MarketWatch) 

Oil finishes at lowest level in almost three weeks (MarketWatch)

07 / FEB / 2017

Myra P. Saefong / MarketWatch

Oil futures extended their losses into a second session Tuesday, sending prices to their lowest finish in almost three weeks as strength in the U.S. dollar and a record level of long positions in the trading market fueled a sell off.

Traders also awaited weekly data on U.S. petroleum supplies, with most analysts forecasting an increase in crude inventories after gains in each of the past four weeks.

Natural-gas futures were the lone gainers on Nymex, with March natural gas up 8 cents, or 2.6%, at $3.13 per million British thermal units. “Fears of late winter volatility and a bit of technical support have translated to buying interest” as prices approach $3, said Robbie Fraser, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric.

Oil traders are also watching the escalating rivalry between the U.S. and Iran after the Middle Eastern oil producer recently conducted a midrange ballistic missile test. The U.S. said the launch breached the nuclear deal Tehran signed with major world powers. The Trump administration responded by slapping sanctions against a number of Iranian companies and individuals. Tehran quickly reacted with its own plan to impose reciprocal measures, including legal restrictions on U.S. nationals and companies. The renewed spat amplifies the risk of a new conflict in the region and could result in supply disruptions.

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