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Refined Products

Recap: Brent hit a six-month low, dragged down by slower consumer spending in the U.S, a supply glut and reduced Chinese manufacturing. So far this quarter, Brent has lost almost 20 percent, the largest three month loss in 7 years. September Brent fell 5.15 percent to settle at $49.52. WTI slipped to its lowest level since the middle of March, stopping at $45.08 after the market settled. September futures settled at $45.17, down $1.95 on the day.

Expectations of weaker gasoline demand weighed heavily on Rbob futures, pushing the September contract as much as 2.9 percent to a low of $1.6722 before trimming losses to settle at $1.6745, down 4.75 cents. As a result of today's weakness in Rbob, the gasoline cracks narrowed. The September crack spread came in $2.14 to settle at $25.16. Heating oil was also under pressure, with the September contract falling 5.84 cents to settle at $1.5305.

Fundamental News  Iraq's oil pipeline to Turkey is expected to resume pumping on Tuesday after sabotage by Kurdish militants halted crude flow last week. Turkish energy officials said pumping briefly resumed late Wednesday using a bypass line but was later halted again due to maintenance work and theft on the pipeline.

Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government it would allocate a portion of its revenue from direct crude oil sales to producing international oil companies starting in September. 

US Secretary of State John Kerry began talks with Gulf states in Qatar on Monday, seeking to convince them of the merits of last month's nuclear deal with Iran and to discuss the battle against Islamic State militants and the war in Syria.  He will meet with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.  He will also hold a trilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. 

IIR reported that US oil refiners are expected to shut in 172,000 bpd of capacity in the week ending August 7th, down 96,000 bpd from the previous week.  IIR also reported that it expects offline capacity to increase to 206,000 bpd in the week ending August 14th.

The supply of North Sea crude will average 980,000 bpd in September, up from 909,000 bpd planned in August. 

Global factory activity remained muted in July.  JPMorgan's Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index held steady in July at June's 51. 

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 52.7 in July from 53.5 in June. 

The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending increased 0.2% following a downwardly revised 0.7% increase in May. 

Greek stocks unofficially closed with losses of 16.2% on Monday, the first day of trading following a five week shutdown.

Greek manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level on record in July.  Markit's PMI for manufacturing fell to 30.2 in July, the lowest reading since the company started compiling the data in 1999. 

China's factory activity contracted more than initially estimated in July.  The final Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 47.8 in July, the lowest reading since July 2013 from June's 49.4. 

Early Market Call - as of 9:00 AM EDT

WTI - Sep $45.77, up 60 cents

RBOB - Sep  $1.6994, up 2.49 cents

ULSD - Sep $1.5476, up 1.71 cents

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Natural Gas

Monday, August 3rd, saw the front-month NYMEX Natural Gas Futures Contracts open at $2.769, more than five cents above Friday’s closing price of $2.716.  Emerging into the market in a downward trend, prices continued lower for the majority of the morning, bottoming out at the intraday low of $2.707 at 11:30AM.  With new-found support after 12:00PM, September cautiously climbed higher through the afternoon to reclaim some of the morning’s losses. Peaking at the intraday high of $2.757 at 2:20PM, September ultimately closed lower on Monday at $2.748.

This morning in Globex, WTI Crude was up 89 cents; Natural Gas was up five cents; Heating Oil was up two cents; and, Gasoline was up three cents.

New York and New England cash prices were higher across the board.

Natural Gas Glossary

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