Oct 12 2012
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OIL FUTURES: Crude Mixed; Market Awaits Cues From IMF, World Bank, China
Friday, Oct 12, 2012
By Surabhi Sahu
Crude-oil futures were mixed in Asia Friday as traders exercised caution, seeking fresh cues from the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group this week and awaiting a slew of economic data releases for September from China starting Saturday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $92.21 a barrel at 0635 GMT, up $0.14 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange fell $0.21 to $115.50 a barrel.
"The market lacks a specific direction as traders are juggling bearish and bullish cues," a Singapore-based trader said, noting that supply outages in the North Sea and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are positive for prices, while OPEC's revised global oil demand forecast for 2012 earlier this week was bearish.
Inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Thursday were mixed, traders said. According to EIA, U.S. oil inventories rose 1.7 million barrels to 366.4 million barrels. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expected an increase of just 600,000 barrels.
In the Middle East, tensions mounted after Turkish fighter jets grounded a Syrian passenger plane on suspicions of carrying weapons.
Neither Turkey nor Syria is a major oil producer, but Turkey houses several major oil pipelines that transport crude from Iraq and Azerbaijan. The threat of supply disruptions has increased after recent developments, a Tokyo-based trader said, tipping strong support for Brent at $110 a barrel next week.
China will be in focus in the coming days, traders said. September trade data are expected Saturday, inflation numbers Monday and third-quarter growth figures Thursday. These numbers will serve as important data points to help assess the state of the Asian economy as traders absorb IMF's latest downgrade for Asia's growth.
The IMF Friday forecast Asia will grow 5.4% this year, or 0.6 percentage point less than its April forecast.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for November--the benchmark gasoline contract--fell 189 points to $2.9367 a gallon, while November heating oil traded at $3.2540, 31 points lower.
ICE gasoil for November changed hands at $1012.75 a metric ton, down $2.00 from Thursday's settlement.
Write to Surabhi Sahu at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 12, 2012 03:14 ET (07:14 GMT)
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