Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Commodity Corner: Crude Oil Edges Lower on Government Data

Crude oil futures reversed yesterday's upward move on government reports indicating a rise in oil stockpiles. Light, sweet crude ended a four day winning streak Wednesday, settling 9 cents lower at $88.81 a barrel. Meanwhile, its European counterpart gained 83 cents to settle at $114.85 a barrel.

The U.S. Department of Energy reported an increase in oil inventories by 5.3 million barrels and a 2.8 million barrel drop in gasoline stockpiles. The build in oil inventories was outweighed by the draw in gasoline stockpiles, stifling the drop in crude prices.

In a choppy trading session, crude traded within a range of $87.67 to $89.54 while Brent crude fluctuated between $113.68 and $115.14. Traders remain wary of Tropical Storm Katia, located in the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center said Katia has a 30 percent chance of becoming a hurricane later Wednesday.

Front month natural gas passed the $4 mark for the first time Wednesday since Aug. 15. Natural gas advanced 14.5 cents to end the trading session at $4.05 per thousand cubic feet. Prices received a boost Wednesday as the Destin Pipeline, a major pipeline that transports gas from offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico to processing facilities in Mississippi, was shut down. Owner BP did not say how long the pipeline would remain offline.

September gasoline gained 4 cents, or 1.2 percent, settling at $3.03 a gallon at expiration. The intraday range for gasoline prices was $3.002 to $3.057.

Posted courtesy of  Rigzone.Com

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