Crude prices were largely unchanged on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the day will show an increase in U.S. oil and fuel supplies
Oil Prices Tread Water Ahead of EIA Weekly Supply Report – Crude prices were largely unchanged on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the day will show an increase in U.S. oil and fuel supplies. After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories rose by nearly 4.8 million barrels last week. It was the first increase in ten weeks and compared with analysts’ expectations for a decline of around 1.0 million barrels. The API report also showed a gain of 4.1 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks, which include motor diesel and heating oil, fell by about 1.3 million barrels. There are often sharp divergences between the API estimates and the official figures from EIA. Oil prices finished higher on Tuesday amid ongoing optimism over global supply cuts. Oil prices have risen almost 50% from around $43 a barrel in June, benefiting from production cut efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018.
Gold Prices Rally to Highest Since September Amid Dollar Weakness – Gold prices rose to their strongest level in more than four months on Wednesday, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar languishing at three-year lows. Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies. The greenback has been on the backfoot since the start of the year on rising expectations that central banks in Japan and the euro zone could pare their monetary stimulus. Investors are looking ahead to the European Central Bank’s meeting on Thursday for further details on when the central bank plans to end its massive economic stimulus program.
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