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Crude futures broadly flat, holding near Wednesday's highs after managing a positive close. Price action has been more reminiscent of consolidation and profit-taking rather than any sea change in sentiment as both oil contracts remain in a bullish trend. Monday's gains confirmed an extension of the current bullish price sequence of higher highs and higher lows, reinforcing the uptrend. Note that the $80.00 psychological hurdle has also been cleared. The focus is on $82.89, a Fibonacci projection. Concerns among global policy markets over the current high price of oil and energy continues to be reflected in headline newsflow, with an MNI report showing the Bank of Japan's concerns over both high energy prices and high import costs as working against corporate profits. This sentiment was reflected in Reuters reports citing sources as saying the White House is conversing with US oil and gas producers on how the industry can help bring down prices.
- Further evidence of the global shortage of energy supplies arose just after the London close, as the Moldovan Deputy PM formally issued a state of emergency in the domestic energy sector thanks to the natural gas shortage in the country. Elsewhere API inventory data showed US crude stocks rose 5.21m bbls, while Cushing hub saw stocks fall 2.28m bbls and downstream products also saw draws. Markets look ahead to the delayed US DOE inventory figures.