Because of the conflicting forces at play for crude oil prices, the trend is sluggish and the forecast for major benchmarks is lower, RBC Capital Markets said. The price for Brent crude oil is, at about $53.50 per barrel early Monday, about $6 per barrel higher than this time last year, but still about $40 less than it was three years ago. A plan implemented by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in January to erase the surplus on the five-year average for global crude oil inventories through managed production declines helped put a floor under crude oil prices, but it’s a shaky one. “Signs of improving market fundamentals have become increasingly […]