Finance Markets

October 25, 2006

Crude prices rise on inventory declines

Permalink: Crude prices rise on inventory declines

Filed under: Commodities, Oil, Metals, Economy

Crude oil prices were significantly higher on Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration released figures showing that crude oil, gasoline, and heating oil stockpiles were all lower in the week ending October 20. Crude stockpiles had been expected to rise due to maintenance work that took US refinery utilization down to 86.2 percent last week, from 86.3 percent the week before. Part of the decline was explained by a drop in imports. Brent crude for December delivery added $1.80 to $61.66 per barrel in London, while West Texas Intermediate crude gained $1.70 to $61.05 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Inventories of crude oil were 3.3 million barrels lower last week against an expected rise of 2.6 million barrels while distillates, which includes heating oil, were 1.4 million barrels lower. Gasoline stockpiles were down by 2.8 million barrels, while they had only been expected to decline by 0.6 million barrels. Prices for Nymex December unleaded gasoline added 5 cents to $1.5880 per gallon, while Nymex November heating oil added nearly 4.5 cents to $1.7394 per gallon.

In the metals markets on Wednesday, gold was 1.6 percent higher to $590.50 per troy ounce. In base metals, copper dropped 0.5 percent to $7,455 per tonne on London Metal Exchange stockpiles there grew by 3,450 tonnes and on rumors that China was getting ready to sell 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes during the week. Zinc inventories, however, dropped by 1,725 tonnes, sending that metal 4 percent higher to $4,055 per tonne after reaching as high as $4,145 earlier. Lead added 4.5 percent on the session to a new record of $1,585 per tonne.



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