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

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Investing.com - Crude oil futures were lower for a third day on Wednesday, as traders looked ahead to closely-watched weekly supply data on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later in the day.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in May traded at USD96.69 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.5% on the day.

New York-traded oil prices fell by as much as 0.6% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD96.50 a barrel.

Oil traders looked ahead to 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.

The report was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories were forecast to fall by 0.8 million barrels.

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.7 million barrels last week, above expectations for an increase of 2.25, while gasoline stocks fell by 5 million barrels.

The U.S. is the world's biggest oil consuming country, responsible for almost 22% of global oil demand.

Oil prices remained under pressure after weak manufacturing and employment data from the euro zone fuelled concerns over the outlook for first quarter growth.

Revised data showed that manufacturing activity in the euro zone contracted for the 20th consecutive month in March, while the jobless rate hit a record high of 12%.

Sentiment also remained fragile amid concerns over the potential implications of a bailout for Cyprus.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for May delivery dipped 0.4% to trade at USD110.27 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD13.58 a barrel.

The spread between the two contracts continued to trade near an eight-month low, due to an improving production outlook in the North Sea and amid growing concerns over the euro zone's economic outlook.

At the same time, U.S. oil stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for Nymex oil futures, are declining as new pipelines relieve a supply glut there.

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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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