August 3rd, 2012

Crude oil surged the most in a month after U.S. payrolls climbed more than estimated and service industries expanded at a faster pace, bolstering optimism about economic strength in the world’s biggest crude-consuming country.

Crude oil futures rose 4.9 percent as payrolls gained 163,000 in July, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index unexpectedly gained. Tropical Storm Ernesto may grow into a hurricane this weekend, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Continue reading »

June 27, 2012

Crude oil gained in New York, erasing losses and trading below $80 a barrel for a fifth day as disruptions to Norway’s output and a possible shortfall from Iran offset concern that use is ebbing amid Europe’s debt woes.

CrudeFutures rose as much 0.5 percent after Norwegian fields closed in a labor dispute and as the European Union prepares additional sanctions on Iran’s energy industry. Iranian exports will fall “gradually” fall during maintenance on fields and reservoirs and as the EU embargo takes effect starting July 1, Deputy Oil Minister Ahmad Qalebani said yesterday. EU leaders will begin a two-day summit meeting tomorrow to address the bloc’s debt crisis.

Continue reading »

June 19th, 2012

Crude oil futures advanced on optimism that Europe’s debt crisis is easing and speculation that the Federal Reserve will announce a package to boost the U.S. economy.

Crude oil prices rose as much as 1.4 percent as Spain sold 3.04 billion euros ($3.8 billion) of bills, exceeding a target of 3 billion. Greek politicians may agree today to form a government and to seek relief from austerity measures imposed as a condition for bailout loans, probable coalition partners said. The Federal Reserve is meeting today and tomorrow.

Continue reading »

June 12th, 2012

Crude oil rose from an eight-month low on speculation that policy makers will do more to stimulate the economy and on expectations that U.S. inventories dropped.

Crude oil futures prices gained as much as 1.2 percent after Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said he would support a variety of measures to generate faster job growth. Government data will show oil inventories fell the most in almost five months last week, a Bloomberg survey of analysts showed.

“There is a lot of political will to try to stem the decline and no one wants to see things get worse,” said Jacob Correll, a commodity analyst at Summit Energy Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky. “If refinery utilization rates stay high, then you are definitely going to see a decent-sized draw.”

Continue reading »

June 7th, 2012

Crude Oil rose in New York after China cut benchmark lending and deposit rates for the first time since 2008, while policy makers in the U.S. and Europe indicated they may take steps to boost their economies.

West Texas Intermediate futures gained as much as 1.8 percent, reversing earlier declines after the People’s Bank of China said on its website that the benchmark one-year deposit rate will drop by 0.25 percentage points from tomorrow. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said the U.S. remains vulnerable to setbacks that may warrant additional monetary stimulus. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said officials are ready to act as the euro area’s outlook worsens.

Continue reading »

June 1st, 2012

Crude oil fell to the lowest level in almost eight months as employment reports in the U.S. and the euro area signaled fuel demand may tumble.

Crude oil futures dropped 3.8 percent after the Labor Department said American employers added the fewest workers in a year in May. The euro region’s jobless rate reached a record high, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said. Brent dropped below $100 for the first time since October.

“You need a word stronger than terrible for the jobs report,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “Everything is driven by the lousy economic data.”

Continue reading »

February 8th, 2012

Crude oil rose to its highest in a week in New York after a report showed U.S. stockpiles shrank, signaling increased demand in the world’s biggest crude consumer.

West Texas Intermediate futures climbed to $99.65 a barrel, the highest since Jan. 31. Crude inventories fell 4.5 million barrels in the seven days ended Feb. 3, the first drop in three weeks, the American Petroleum Institute said after yesterday’s settlement. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had forecast today’s Energy Department report would show supplies rose 2.5 million barrels.

“Inventories decreasing are adding to the supply concerns in the market,” said Sintje Boie, an analyst at HSH Nordbank in Hamburg. “Demand is quite strong because of the winter season. There are already supply worries from Iran’s threat to stop exports to Europe.”

Crude for March delivery advanced as much as $1.24, or 1.3 percent, to $99.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $99.28 at 12:50 p.m. London time. Yesterday, it increased $1.50 to $98.41, the highest settlement since Jan. 31. Prices are up 14 percent from a year ago.

Continue reading »

February 6th, 2012

Crude oil futures fell from the highest price in three days in New York on speculation Greece’s steps to avert a financial collapse may fall short, threatening Europe’s economy and demand for fuel.

Crude oil futures dropped as much as 0.9 percent before political leaders in Greece meet today to discuss a detailed agreement for meeting the terms of an international financial rescue. The premium of London-traded Brent oil to New York contracts rose for an eighth day after militants in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, attacked and damaged a pipeline.

“The potential now is for disappointment out of Europe,” said Michael McCarthy, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty in Sydney. “I suspect this one is going to drag on a fair bit. This echoes the very disappointing rhetoric we’ve heard out of Europe many times before.”

Crude oil futures for March delivery slid as much as 89 cents to $96.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.97 at 4:32 p.m. Singapore time. The contract rose $1.48 to $97.84 on Feb. 3, the highest settlement since Jan. 31. Prices are down 1.9 percent this year.

Brent oil for March settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange dropped as much as 68 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $113.90 a barrel. The European benchmark contract was at a premium of $17.06 to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate, the widest since Nov. 8. The spread was a record $27.88 on Oct. 14.

Continue reading »

January 30th, 2012

Crude oil futures dropped for a second day in New York on speculation that European Union leaders meeting today may fail to resolve the region’s debt crisis, while OPEC’s secretary-general said the market is well-supplied.

Crude oil futures slipped as much as 0.9 percent as stocks dropped and the dollar strengthened. EU chiefs will gather in Brussels today to complete a German-led deficit-control treaty and endorse a 500 billion-euro ($660 billion) rescue fund. Hedge funds and other large speculators increased wagers on rising crude prices, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitment of Traders report on Jan. 27 showed.

“The market is taking off risk before the meeting,” said Thina Saltvedt, an analyst at Nordea Bank AB in Oslo, who predicts Brent crude will average $107 a barrel this quarter. “Ahead of this meeting, sentiment is less optimistic.”

Crude oil futures for March delivery fell as much as 85 cents to $98.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $99.10 at 1:10 p.m. London time. The contract lost 14 cents to $99.56 on Jan. 27. Prices are 0.3 percent higher this month.

Continue reading »

January 25th, 2012

Crude oil futures rose after Federal Reserve officials said the U.S. benchmark interest rate will stay low until at least 2014 to bolster growth and cut unemployment, boosting fuel demand.

Crude oil futures advanced 0.5 percent as the Federal Open Market Committee extended its previous pledge to keep rates low at least until the middle of 2013. The Energy Department reported that total fuel consumption increased 7.5 percent to 19.2 million barrels a day in the week ended Jan. 20.

“We’re up because of the FOMC statement,” said Hamza Khan, an analyst with the Schork Group Inc., a consulting company in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “The Fed’s policy is good for the economic outlook. This points to steady growth ahead, which will be good for oil demand.”

Crude oil futures for March delivery rose 45 cents to settle at $99.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures dropped to $97.53 early in the session. Prices are up 15 percent from a year earlier.

Continue reading »