Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crude oil futures prices outlook 8/23/2012

Crude oil futures prices 8/23/2012 : Crude oil futures gained in Asian trading on Thursday after the Federal Reserve said monetary stimulus would be necessary if the economy threatens to veer off course from an already sluggish recovery. Dwindling U.S. supply data pushed prices up as well.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at USD97.36 a barrel on Thursday, up 0.11%, off from a session high of USD97.43 and up from an earlier session low of USD97.34.

The Fed will likely deliver a round of quantitative easing unless the economy picks up its pace of recovery, according to the minutes of the Fed's last monetary policy meeting.

"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," the minutes read.

"Several members noted the benefits of accumulating further information that could help clarify the contours of the outlook for economic activity and inflation as well as the need for further policy action."

Quantitative easing, under which the Fed buys bonds such as Treasury holdings and mortgage-backed securities from banks, weakens the dollar, sends interest rates falling and sends commodities, stocks and often higher-yielding currencies rising.

Meanwhile, existing home sales came in weaker than expected earlier, fueling new talk of Fed easing.

Sales of previously owned homes rose 2.3 percent in July to 4.47 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported earlier.

Analysts were expecting the number to hit 4.52 million units, however.

Elsewhere in the U.S. the Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories declined by 5.4 million barrels in the week ending Aug. 17, compared to expectations for a decline of 413,000 barrels. U.S. crude supplies fell by 3.7 million barrels in the preceding week.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 360.7 million barrels as of last week.

Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 962,000 barrels, beating out market calls for a decline of 725,000 barrels, after falling by 2.37 million barrels in the preceding week.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for October delivery were up 0.09% and trading at USD115.11 a barrel, up USD17.75 from its U.S. counterpart.

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