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Oil prices down ahead of US oil inventory data

Oil prices down ahead of US oil inventory data

Oil prices were lower Thursday after big gains the day before, ahead of the release of U.S. fuel inventory data expected to show crude stockpiles fell last week.
At midmorning in Europe, light, sweet crude for February delivery was down 69 cents to US$95.28 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract had jumped US$1.84 on Wednesday as traders braced for what was expected to be the sixth straight decline in U.S. crude stockpiles in the report to be released by the Energy Department.
Futures also rose on news of a Turkish airstrike Wednesday on Kurdish rebel shelters in northern Iraq.
The warplanes hit caves and other hideouts inside Iraq after detecting a group of rebels preparing to spend the winter in the hideouts, the Turkish military said. Turkey's escalating cross-border war against separatists has raised concerns that the conflict would cut oil supplies from the region.
In the weekly inventory data, oil supplies are expected to fall by 1.2 million barrels, according to the mean of forecasts by analysts in a Dow Jones Newswires survey. The drop is expected because of a decline in imports that market watchers blame in part on fog that kept tankers outside the Houston Ship Channel last week.
Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, are seen falling by about 600,000 barrels, according to the analysts' average, while gasoline stockpiles are expected to rise by 1.6 million barrels.
Refinery use is seen increasing by 0.6 percentage point to 88.4 percent of capacity.
Many analysts expect oil futures to trade in a narrow range for the duration of the holidays. Crude futures have in recent weeks held generally to a range between US$87 and US$95, leading some analysts to conclude some investors may be poised to make another push for US$100 a barrel in the new year.
Heating oil futures fell 0.62 cents to US$2.6350 a gallon (3.8 liters) while gasoline prices were down 0.12 cents to US$2.440 a gallon. Natural gas futures were 0.013 cents lower at US$7.033 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, February Brent crude futures fell 51 cents to US$93.43 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.


Updated : 2021-08-04 02:44 GMT+08:00