Oil prices up ahead of U.S. data release

Oil prices up ahead of U.S. data release

Crude oil futures stayed around $60 a barrel Wednesday ahead of a weekly U.S. oil data release, with an expected increase in the country’s inventories dampening bullish sentiment.

Despite last week’s decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output, rising global crude stocks have had a bearish effect, at least for the near term.

“Participants seem to be focused more on near-term crude oil supplies, so with the early estimates for this week’s inventory reports calling for another rise in crude stocks, it is understandable that
OPEC’s efforts have not gone far in changing perceptions,” said Mike Fitzpatrick at Fimat USA.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude for December delivery traded at $59.37 on Wednesday afternoon in Singapore. The price was up two cents from Tuesday.

December Brent at London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 19 cents to $60.05 a barrel.

Crude futures had fallen amid doubts about OPEC’s ability to implement its recent decision to cut daily production by more than 1 million barrels. But some traders believe the cartel’s intentions could nevertheless help to support prices around $60 a barrel.

Nymex natural gas futures dropped 1.3 cents to $7.078 per thousand cubic feet. Heating oil futures rose half a cent to $1.7010 a gallon, and gasoline futures increase one-quarter of a cent to $1.5406 a gallon.

The Energy Information Administration is set to issue weekly U.S. oil data Wednesday. Crude oil inventories are expected to grow for the fourth week in a row, possibly rising by 2.7 million barrels, according to a survey of analysts by Dow Jones Newswires. Distillates stocks, which include heating oil, will likely fall by 1.6 million barrels to 143.8 million barrels, the survey showed.

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