Crude oil traders are now anticipating the release of inventory numbers on October 23rd. With the reopening of the US government after lawmakers passed a temporary budget and increased the debt ceiling until early 2014 traders are eagerly awaiting long delayed data. Crude oil is trading at 100.79 gaining 12 cents while Brent oil added 33 points to trade at 109.31. Crude oil prices closed lower on Thursday, weighed by profit booking as WTI and Brent gained 1.07% and 0.82%, respectively, in the previous trading session after US lawmakers reached an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and extend the debt-limit. Meanwhile, an increase in US crude stockpiles by 5.94 mn barrels last week as reported by American Petroleum Institute yesterday weighed on crude oil prices. Energy speculators are now attempting to determine the effects on demand of the US government shutdown. The 11th-hour deal struck late Wednesday in Congress will reopen the government, but investor relief turned to concern about the 16-day fight’s toll on the world’s largest economy. Many analysts have pushed back their expectations for a reduction in Fed bond buying—once viewed as certain to begin in September—until the first quarter of 2014. In addition, investors remain wary that U.S. lawmakers will go through a similar political standoff in early 2014, further muddying the growth outlook.
Crude oil settled at their lowest level in more than three months on Thursday as stockpiles in the Cushing, Oklahoma, and oil hub began to reverse a months-long decline, and as signs of progress in talks over Iran’s nuclear program also pressured prices. Forty years after an Arab oil embargo throttled the U.S. economy, surging North American energy production has brought the United States closer to a long-dreamed “energy independence” that is reshaping its goals and role in the Middle East.
Major oil and gas producers Russia and North America are spending billions of dollars on pipelines and port facilities to supply energy to Asia, intent on grabbing a bigger share of the world’s fastest growing fuel market from Middle East suppliers. China’s economy expanded 7.8 per cent year-on-year in July-September, snapping two quarters of slowing growth in the world’s top energy consuming nation. The price support for oil right now is probably due to the stronger Chinese growth data. Retail sales missed the mark by a bit but industrial production met expectations along with GDP.
The Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB benchmark, 12 of 19 commodities fell. The index lost 0.41 percent, with losses in energy, industrial metals, and some agricultural markets. Brent crude oil fell 1.7 percent to a one-week low. Retail gasoline prices edged up slightly but continue to remain much lower than this time last year. AAA on Thursday reported the average price at the pump increased 1 cent to $3.12 per gallon. That’s 40 cents less per gallon than what drivers were paying on Oct. 17, 2012. Natural gas is trading at 3.762 after tumbling almost 10 cents as traders sold off to book profits ahead of next week’s inventory release by the EIA along with a shift in weather forecasts, which put temperature back on seasonal averages.
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