Crude oil futures edge lower ahead of U.S. supply data

A A A - Crude oil futures edged lower on Thursday, as traders were awaiting data from the U.S. government on oil and fuel supplies later in the day to gauge the strength of demand from the world's largest oil consumer.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at USD93.65 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.25%.

New York-traded oil futures traded in a range between USD93.45 a barrel, the daily low and a session high of USD94.02 a barrel.

The December contract settled 0.9% higher on Wednesday to end at USD93.88 a barrel.

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD92.86 a barrel, the low from November 12 and resistance at USD95.22 a barrel, the high from November 12.

After markets closed Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories rose by 600,000 barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles increased 1.7 million barrels.

Thursday's government report, which comes out a day later than usual due to the Veterans Day holiday on Monday, was expected to show that crude oil stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories were forecast to fall by 700,000 barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 385.4 million barrels as of last week, the highest since June.

Investors also looked ahead a Senate hearing later in the day to confirm Janet Yellen as the first chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, for indications on the future course of U.S. monetary policy.

In a statement released late Wednesday, Yellen said the job market and economy are "performing far short of their potential" and there is "more work to do" on recovery.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for January delivery rose 0.25% to trade at USD107.14 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD13.49 a barrel.

London-traded Brent prices have been well-supported in recent sessions amid growing concerns over a disruption to supplies from Libya and after talks aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program and relaxing sanctions against the oil producer stalled over the weekend.

The next round of talks between Tehran and Western powers will take place on November 20.

Trade sanctions slapped on Iran due to its alleged nuclear ambitions have taken out more than one million barrels per day of oil from the global market. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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