Oil Flirts With First Gain In Five Sessions

Oil futures on Wednesday were making a feeble attempt to put an end to their losing streak, but they still leaned higher after a report showed crude supplies last week fell much less than analysts had expected.

Crude oil for November delivery  added 15 cents, or 0.2%, to $103.28 a barrel in electronic trade.

A day earlier, oil futures suffered a fourth-straight losing session, trickling lower on the back of a better supply outlook. Still, prices finished the trading session above $103 a barrel as uncertainties surrounding the Middle East region lingered.

Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported a dip in crude supplies along with unexpected rises in gasoline and distillate stockpiles. Crude supplies edged down by 54,000 barrels for the week ended Sept. 20. A Platts survey of analysts showed a forecast for a decline of 1.5 million barrels.

The API data preceded the more closely watched Energy Information Administration report due later Wednesday.

TD Securities’s David Bouckhout stood by his call for lower oil prices through the fourth quarter, with diplomacy seemingly gaining traction in Syria, the Iranian president’s willingness to negotiate and Libya restarting production all pointing to lower risk to supplies.

“However,” he said, “it is important to note that despite reduced geopolitical conditions, tensions could easily spark up and put the market back into a geopolitically induced rally higher.” 

Elsewhere, October natural gas added a penny, or 0.3%, to $3.50 per million British thermal units. October gasoline gave up one cent, or 0.2%, to $2.65 a gallon. October heating oil was unchanged at $2.96 a gallon.

Source : Marketwatch