Investing.com - Crude oil futures slipped lower during early
European trading hours on Thursday, as markets were awaiting the
release of U.S. economic reports later in the day amid ongoing
uncertainty over the future of the Federal Reserve's asset
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for
delivery in November traded at USD102.45 a barrel during European
morning trade, down 0.20%.
The November contract settled down 0.46% at USD102.66 a barrel on
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD102.28 a barrel, the
low from August 8 and resistance at USD103.95 a barrel, Wednesday's
Oil prices came under pressure after the U.S. Energy Information
Administration said on Wednesday that crude oil stockpiles rose by
2.63 million barrels in the week ending September 20, confounding
expectations for a 1.1 million decline, after a 4.4 million barrel
drop in the previous week.
Gasoline inventories rose by 0.22 million barrels last week,
exceeding expectations for a 0.14 million rise.
Separately, reports that Libyan oil production is on the rise after
protesters reopened access to facilities also weighed on prices, as
did talk that oil output in Nigeria is recovering.
Countries in the Middle East and Africa were responsible for nearly
35% of global oil production in 2012.
Traders were also monitoring developments in Iran, after the
country's new government said on Wednesday it wants to jump-start
talks with world powers to resolve the dispute over its nuclear
program and hoped for a deal in three to six months.
Meanwhile, investors were eyeing the final reading of U.S. second
quarter gross domestic product due later in the day, after a recent
string of economic reports underlined concerns over the outlook for
the U.S. economic recovery.
Stronger-than-expected GDP data would likely fuel speculation that
the Fed could announce a stimulus reduction before the year end.
Last week, the Fed said it wanted to see more evidence of a
sustained economic recovery before it reduced stimulus.
The Fed's stimulus program is viewed by many investors as a key
driver in boosting the price of commodities as it tends to depress
the value of the dollar.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for
November delivery rose 0.34% to trade at USD108.31 a barrel, with
the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at
USD5.86 a barrel.
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