Crude oil prices are struggling on short-term fundamentals, but we continue to get a disturbing outlook for our long-term energy future. Weakness enveloped oil, driving it down for the fourth day in a row on reports of oil disruptions getting back online, yet a report from Rystad Energy says that global oil discoveries fell to the lowest level in 63 years as oil companies slashed spending on oil exploration by the most in history.
Canadian retail sales unexpectedly rose in February, the second consecutive monthly increase, brightening the outlook for an economy that is on track to rack up strong growth in the first quarter. Separate data from Statistics Canada on Friday showed Canada's annual inflation rate dipped toward the lower end of the central bank's target range largely due to lower gasoline prices.
After rising to the highest price this year, crude oil prices are starting out the early U.S. trading session in negative territory. The market remains primarily focused on Sunday’s OPEC/non-OPEC meeting with most everything else remaining in the background.
For more than a year now, commodity prices have been under pressure from the strong U.S. dollar and slowing global demand. This has made a huge dent in the balance sheet of many net exporters of resources, in turn weakening their currencies.