Oil Prices Falter Ahead of U.S. Jobless Data; Gold Dips on Profit-Taking


Oil prices are weaker in early morning trade ahead of the release of the latest monthly U.S. unemployment data, and traders take profits from crude's recent gains.

Gold too is lower on profit-taking after extending its record high Thursday amid growing concerns about inflation. The yellow metal is seen trending higher in the longer term amid worries that the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing measures will lead to higher inflation.

At 0745 ET, Brent crude is 0.2% lower at $87.86 a barrel, while light sweet crude is 0.2% lower at $86.29 a barrel, and natural gas is up 0.5% at $3.88 a million British thermal units.

Gold is down 0.3% at $1,379.30 an ounce, while silver is down 0.3% at $25.97 an ounce, and copper is up 0.5% at $3.93 a pound.

Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDSA) will sell off holdings in six Gulf of Mexico oil and gas fields for a total of $450 million. The holdings will be sold to W&T Offshore Inc ( WTI ), an energy producer focused on the Gulf of Mexico. Together, the fields contain about 27 million barrels of oil and produces 18,000 barrels a day.

The parent company of PetroChina Co. ( PTR ), China National Petroleum Corp, said it will continue to process crude at record levels reached Nov. 3 for the rest of November to meet increased year-end demand.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp ( APC ) and Woodside Petroleum Ltd (WPL) could be possible acquisition targets for Australia's BHP Billiton Ltd ( BHP ), according to UBS. Thursday, the Canadian government rejected BHP's $40 billion bid to buy out Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc ( POT ).

In the mining sector, Canada's Alamos Gold Inc (AGI) projected a rise in fourth quarter production on the back of additional capacity at its gold recovery plant. Still, the company reported third quarter revenue falling 17% from a year ago to $34.3 million, even though its profit rose 38% to $19.5 million, or 17 cents a share.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: APC , BHP , POT , PTR , WTI

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