Monday, July 12, 2010

Crude Oil Declines From One Week High as Traders Sell Futures to Lock in Gains

Crude oil fell in New York for the first time in four days as traders sold contracts to lock in gains following a rally to a one week high above $76 a barrel. Oil rose earlier as China, the world’s second largest energy consumer, reported crude imports reached a record in June. Retail sales in the U.S., the biggest energy user, probably fell in June for a second month and industrial production cooled, signs the expansion will moderate in the second half, economists said before reports this week.

“Some profit taking is coming into the market,” said Ken Hasegawa, a commodity derivatives sales manager at broker Newedge Group in Tokyo. “From a technical point of view, $76.50 near last week’s highs is around a level to sell. This market will continue to be range bound.”

Crude for August delivery dropped as much as 49 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $75.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was at $75.64 at 2:22 p.m. Singapore time, earlier reaching $76.43. Futures, up 27 percent in the past year, have lost 4.7 percent in 2010.

China’s net crude purchases climbed to 22.14 million metric tons in June, beating the previous record of 20.98 million tons in April, according to preliminary data from the General Administration of Customs on July 10. Imports surged 30 percent in the first half of this year on higher demand and lower costs. The country paid an average of $77.20 a barrel for crude in June, compared with $82.50 in May.....Read the entire article.

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