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Crude extends gains on Egypt unrest, U.S. data support

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Shutterstock photo - Crude prices rose on Wednesday as a political crisis in Egypt continued to fan fears that the ongoing instability could disrupt supply.

Better-than-expected private-sector jobs data bolstered prices as well.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in August traded up 1.83% at USD101.42 a barrel on Wednesday, off from a session high of USD102.16 and up from an earlier session low of USD99.43.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi earlier rebuffed the military's ultimatum to comprise with protesters or relinquish power, which stoked fears that tensions would lead to the closure of the Suez Canal, which transports approximately 2 million barrels of crude oil a day from northern Africa to the U.S.

Elsewhere, payroll processor ADP reported earlier that the U.S. private sector added 188,000 jobs in June, beating expectations for an increase of 160,000, which bolstered prices just two days ahead of the release of official monthly jobs data.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial unemployment assistance last week fell by 5,000 to 343,000, slightly better than expectations for a drop of 3,000 to 345,000.

Separate data showed that service-sector activity in the U.S. grew at a slower rate than expected in June.

The Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 52.2 in June from 53.7 in May, compared to expectations for an increase to 54.0, though investors shrugged off the data.

Supply data added to the rally as well.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 10.3 million barrels in the week ended June 28, outpacing expectations for a decline of 2.3 million barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 383.8 million barrels as of last week.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for August delivery were up 1.74% at USD105.81 a barrel, up USD4.39 from its U.S. counterpart. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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

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