Crude Oil Drops Ahead Of Inventory Data

Benchmark U.S. oil futures came under pressure in electronic trade Tuesday, facing a potential seventh day out of the last eight in negative territory.

By midday in East Asia, November crude  was down 19 cents, or 0.2%, at $103.37 a barrel.

A day earlier, oil futures closed below $104 a barrel, making for a three-session loss of about 4% as concerns over Middle Eastern supplies continued to ease, in part due to rising output from Libya.

The United Nations chemical-weapons panel was due to vote later Tuesday on a U.S.-Russian agreement to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, with a Security Council vote to follow.

Also later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute was slated to release its weekly U.S. inventory report, due to be followed by the more closely watched U.S. Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday.

U.S. commercial crude-oil stocks were expected to show a decline of 1.5 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 20, according to a Platts survey of energy analysts.

“Imports will likely remain on the low end as light sweet crude-oil supply out of the Mediterranean continues to be tight,” Platts wrote. “However, lower crude-oil runs at U.S. refineries will likely keep a larger decline in crude-oil stocks in check.”

In other energy-futures trading, October natural gas lost a penny, or 0.4%, to $3.59 per million British thermal units. October gasoline was down less than a cent at $2.62 a gallon.

Source : Marketwatch