Oil settles higher near four-year peak, dollar off six-week high

2018-10-05 18:29:18 GMT (Economies.com)
Oil settles higher near four-year peak, dollar off six-week high

Oil futures tilted higher in American trade on track for the fourth weekly profit in a row as the dollar index backed off August 20 highs, following earlier data from the US, the world's largest energy consumer. 


As of 04:54 GMT, US crude futures due in November rose 0.42% to $74.64 a barrel, while Brent December futures inched up 0.12% to $84.68 a barrel, as the dollar index shed 0.05% to 95.71 against a basket of major rivals. 


US national security adviser John Bolton said the Trump administration is aiming to completely stop Iranian oil exports, calling for the entire world to refrain from purchasing Iranian oil to heap pressure on the country regarding their nuclear program and interference with the region's internal affairs. 


US Inventories Surge 


On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration released its report on US crude inventories, showing a sharp increase of 8 million barrels in the week ending September 28, adding to the 1.9 million increase in the previous reading, while analysts expected a 1.1 million build, with total stocks now amounting to 404 million barrels, at five-year averages for this time of year. 


Gasoline stocks fell 0.5 million barrels, still 7% above averages, while distillate stocks fell 1.8 million barrels, making them 3% below averages. 


Otherwise, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said earlier today the global oil market is relatively balanced, even though existing uncertainties could still push prices higher, mainly because of US sanctions on Iranian oil exports. 


Oil prices are up 20% so far this year as OPEC and Russia carry on their agreement to cut global output to easy a previous supply glut, while the US withdrew from the Iran deal and sanctioned their oil exports.


US Oil Rig Count 


Baker Hughes, a US oil services company, reported a drop of two rigs in the oil rig count to a total of 863 rigs, the third weekly increase in a row. .


US output has recently risen to the second highest in the globe, taking the place of Saudi Arabia while Russia continues at the top with 11.21 million bpd. 


US Labor, Trade Data 


Other US data today showed the unemployment rate fell to 3.7% near 49 year lows from 3.9%, while averages wages rose 0.3% as expected. 


The economy created 134 thousand new jobs last month, down from 270 thousand in August, and below estimates of 185K, as the trade deficit widened to $53.2 billion from $50.0 billion, barely below estimates of $53.4 billion.

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