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August crude oil has started the third quarter nearly $20 per barrel above its April lows, having benefited from improving global risk sentiment and a pullback in US and OPEC-Plus production. Given increasing concerns about demand should there be more “paused reopenings,” crude oil and the products may be a little top-heavy at their current price levels. Russian Energy Minister Novak said that the global oil market could be in balance or could even see a shortage, but he also said that current OPEC-Plus deal should see easing of output cuts next month, and those second comments have helped to take crude oil prices below their early highs.


Natural gas prices have found their footing with modest gains this morning, but they are holding an inside-day range. While prices have lifted clear of last week’s lows, they need to find fresh bullish supply/demand news to extend the move. August natural gas was unable to shake off early pressure on Wednesday and finished with a moderate loss. Extended weather forecasts call for warmer than normal weather from the Rockies east to the Atlantic Coast, which should boost air conditioning usage and electricity consumption.

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