August crude oil prices established a higher high during the initial morning hours, helped by a rebound in risk taking sentiment in the wake of an as expected Chinese GDP report. While China's second quarter growth slowed to a pace not seen in three years, the reading appeared to inspire greater speculation for more economic stimulus. That is seen as a force bolstering the demand prospects for crude oil. The market also appears to be supported by reports of tighter North Sea supplies and greater US sanctions against Iran.
August natural gas prices traded in a tight overnight range as they consolidated yesterday's upside reversal action. This came after the market soldoff in reaction to yesterdays EIA storage data that showed a slightly larger than expected injection of 33 bcf. Total storage stands at 3,135 bcf or 19.7% above the 5 year average. Over the last four weeks natural gas storage has increased 191 bcf. Some traders viewed the EIA storage data as a positive because the weekly injection was about one third of the longer term average injection for this week of the year.
Gold traded nearly flat, but remained on course for a second consecutive week of losses as worries about the euro zone debt crisis and the absence of stimulus measures in the United States buoyed the dollar and its safe haven appeal. Spot gold was little changed at $1,570.14 an ounce, heading for a weekly decline of 0.8 percent.
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