Oct 24 2012
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OIL FUTURES: Crude Slumps as U.S. Inventories Rise
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012
--EIA: U.S. crude stockpiles jump by 5.9 million barrels
--Nymex crude settles 94c lower to $85.73/bbl
--'There's just an abundance of oil in the U.S.,' says analyst
By Jerry A. DiColo
Light, sweet crude for December delivery settled 94 cents, or 1.1%, lower at $85.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded 40 cents lower at $107.85 a barrel.
Analysts expected crude stockpiles to rise by 1.8 million barrels last week, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey.
"There's just an abundance of oil in the U.S.," said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective. He noted that four-week average imports have declined from the same period a year ago, a sign that U.S. supplies are reducing the need for oil from overseas.
The stockpiles data, coupled with weak economic reports out of China and Europe, sent front-month prices lower for the fifth-straight session.
Crude futures have tumbled over the past month after reaching highs of $99 a barrel in mid-September. Investors are concerned about rising oil supplies amid a slowdown in the global economy that will likely weigh on fuel demand. In the U.S., oil output is at the highest level since 1995, EIA data show.
On Wednesday, a measure of euro-zone manufacturing activity was weaker than economists had expected, while a survey of German business sentiment also showed a decline.
Futures for gasoline and heating oil have seen steeper declines this month as investors adjust to signs of a slowing global economy that will likely curtail fuel demand.
Front-month November reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled 0.2 cent lower at $2.6030 a gallon for a record 10th-straight losing session. Over that period, gasoline futures have fallen 12%, while retail U.S. gasoline prices have also slid.
The EIA said gasoline stockpiles rose by 1.4 million barrels, higher than the 600,000-barrel increase forecast by analysts. Data also showed U.S. demand fell to a nine-year low for the latest week.
November heating oil settled 0.4 cent lower to $3.0394 a gallon, the ninth-straight decline.
Stocks of distillate, which include heating oil and diesel, fell by 600,000 barrels, the EIA said. Analysts expected an 800,000-barrel drop.
More information on settlements and highs and lows for futures on Nymex and ICE platforms can be found by searching for the following headlines:
Nymex Light Crude Oil Close
Nymex Harbor RBOB Gasoline Close
Nymex Heating Oil Close
ICE Brent Crude Oil Close
ICE Gas Oil Close
Write to Jerry A. DiColo at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 24, 2012 15:10 ET (19:10 GMT)
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