Oil Holds Steady Ahead Of Weekly Data

Oil futures inched higher Tuesday ahead of key weekly data that is expected to show a rise in commercial crude stocks as well as a spike in gasoline supply.

Crude for November delivery rose 4 cents to $103.07 a barrel in electronic trade.

A day earlier, oil futures dipped but didn’t let a lack of progress toward ending the government shutdown keep them from staying above $103 a barrel for a fourth session in a row.

The American Petroleum Institute is slated to release its weekly report at 4:30 p.m. Eastern, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration will follow up with its data on Wednesday.

U.S. commercial crude oil stocks are expected to have risen 2.2 million barrels during the week ended Oct. 4, according to a Platts survey. U.S. gasoline stocks are expected to have risen 1.3 million barrels over the same period, which is nearly double the EIA’s five-year average.

“With the government shutdown taking away a lot of drivers going into work last week, we’re expecting demand to take a hit here,” Oil Outlooks President Carl Larry told Platts. “It’s quite possible we see the gasoline [demand] number at its lowest for some time, and that’s saying a lot without being adjusted for weather.”

Elsewhere in the energy complex, heating oil for November delivery   was flat at $3.00, while November gasoline   barely budged from $2.63 a gallon. Both were feeling the weight of the weak demand numbers that are expected in the EIA report.

Brent crude for November delivery  fell 30 cents, or 0.3%, to $109.38 a barrel., and natural gas for November delivery   rose 2 cents, or 0.4%, to $3.64 per million British thermal units.

Source : Marketwatch