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NYMEX-U.S. crude prices ease after sharp overnight gains
September 4, 2014 / 1:11 AM / 3 years ago

NYMEX-U.S. crude prices ease after sharp overnight gains

SINGAPORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures on Thursday eased from sharp overnight gains, falling as industry data showed fuel stocks in the world’s biggest oil consumer rose last week.

Oil futures on both sides of the Atlantic rose by more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday, moving away from multi-month lows as the prospect of peace talks over Ukraine and strong U.S. economic data raised demand expectations.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for October delivery was down 32 cents at $95.22 a barrel by 0055 GMT. The contract had settled $2.66 higher on Wednesday.

* Brent crude fell 40 cents to $102.37 a barrel, after closing $2.43 higher.

* In bullish signals for oil demand in the world’s biggest economy, new orders for U.S. factory goods posted a record gain in July and auto sales last month accelerated to their highest level in 8-1/2 years.

* But data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) released after session close helped pull prices lower.

* Gasoline stocks rose by 362,000 barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel decline. Distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 385,000 barrels, compared with expectations for a 500,000-barrel drop, the API data showed.

* U.S. crude inventories fell only 545,000 barrels to 361 million last week as refinery capacity utilization fell 0.5 percentage point to 93.2 percent.

* The more closely watched update from the government’s Energy Information Administration is due at 1500 GMT Thursday. It is delayed by one day due to a U.S. holiday last Monday.

* U.S. crude oil and refined product stockpiles were forecast to have dropped in the week to Aug. 29, an expanded Reuters survey of 10 analysts showed on Wednesday.

* A small fire broke out on a gas pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia on Tuesday after assailants shot at a police patrol, security and oil industry sources said, in an incident that may heighten concern about the vulnerability of Saudi energy infrastructure.

* A group of rebels campaigning for autonomy in eastern Libya rejects the parliament set up by another armed group in Tripoli but will honour a deal to keep major oil ports open, a rebel spokesman said on Wednesday.

* Libya’s oil output has risen to 725,000 barrels a day, more than six times the level two months ago.

President Vladimir Putin outlined plans for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday but Ukraine’s prime minister dismissed the proposal.

* Iran’s oil minister said Tehran would continue to bypass sanctions after the United States penalised a number of companies for violating sanctions imposed on Iran, mostly in connection with its nuclear programme.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares edged up to a seven-year high on Thursday on growing hopes of a ceasefire in Ukraine, while investors also warmed to the idea of more monetary easing from the European Central Bank in the near future.

* MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.15 percent in early trade, led by gains in South Korean shares. Japan’s Nikkei average shed 0.1 percent.

DATA/EVENTS

The following data is expected on Thursday: (Time in GMT)

1230 US Initial Jobless Claims w/e

1230 US Productivity Revised Q2

1345 US Markit Comp Final PMI Aug

1145 EZ ECB Refinancing rate Sep

1145 EZ ECB Deposit rate Sep

1500 U.S. EIA weekly crude stocks weekly

1500 U.S. EIA weekly dist. stocks Weekly

1500 U.S. EIA weekly gasoline stk Weekly

1430 U.S. Nat gas-EIA, change bcf Weekly (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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