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Crude oil edges lower on uncertain U.S. demand picture

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Forexpros - Crude oil futures edged lower on Wednesday, giving back some of the previous day's sharp gains after industry data painted a mixed picture of U.S. energy demand, while a stronger U.S. dollar also weighed.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD85.12 a barrel during European morning trade, slumping 0.37%.

It earlier fell as much as 0.85% to trade at a daily low of USD84.56 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.34 million barrels last week, confounding expectations for a 0.8 million barrel increase.

However, total gasoline supplies jumped by 6.37 million barrels to 213.9 million.

Energy traders have been closely eyeing gasoline stockpiles in recent weeks to gauge the strength of U.S. demand, as the U.S. driving season is currently in the period of peak gasoline demand.

Later in the day, the U.S. Energy Department was to release its closely-watched crude oil inventories report for the week ended August 19.

The data was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose by 0.8 million barrels, while gasoline supplies were forecast to drop by 1.0 million barrels.

Strength in the U.S. dollar also weighed, as the dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.12% to hit 73.95.

Meanwhile, global financial service provider BNP Paribas lowered its crude price forecast for the remainder of the year, expecting prices to average USD92 a barrel in the third quarter and USD98 in the fourth quarter, citing concerns over a double dip recession in the U.S.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for October delivery fell 0.99% to trade at USD108.96 a barrel, up USD23.84 on its U.S. counterpart.

Markets continued to monitor developments in Libya in order to asses how quickly oil production in the country would return to pre-war levels.

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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.


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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