Oil Slides Toward Sixth Session Of Losses

Oil futures were heading toward yet another day of losses on Thursday, retreating after some soothing words out of Iran gave support to the notion that geopolitical supply risks are easing.

Crude oil for November delivery  was down 30 cents, or 0.3%, to $102.35 a barrel in electronic trade.

A day earlier, oil endured its fifth straight session in the red, settling at the lowest point for a most-active contract since July 3. Weighing on prices, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that crude stockpiles for the week ended Sept. 20 rose 2.6 million barrels. Analysts polled by Platts were looking for a decline of 1.5 million barrels.

Analysts at Commerzbank said they expect oil to remain in a downtrend as a relative, if fleeting, calm seems to have settled over the Middle East.

“Even though a quick easing of the West’s oil sanctions against Iran is not probable, the diplomatic thaw does point to a declining risk premium,” they said. “After all, it makes a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities much less likely than under the country’s previous president, Ahmadinejad.”

November Brent crude  , the European benchmark for crude oil, lost 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $108.24 a barrel.

Elsewhere, October gasoline  rose 3 cents, or 0.9%, to $2.68 a gallon. October heating oil remained at $2.97 a gallon.

October natural gas  added a penny, or 0.3%, to $3.51 per million British thermal units ahead of a weekly update on supplies of the commodity in storage, due out Thursday. Analysts polled by Platts expect the EIA to report an increase of between 74 billion cubic feet and 78 billion cubic feet.

October natural-gas contract expires at the close of Thursday’s Nymex trading session. November natural gas  rose 1 cent, or 0.3%, to $3.56 per million British thermal units.

Source : Marketwatch