Markets & Finance

Crude Oil Drops After Inventory Report


From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchMARKETSCOPE: Energy futures were lower after the Dept. of Energy reported crude oil inventories were down 1.9 million barrels, gasoline futures were down 1 million barrels and distillates were down 400,000 barrels. Oct. WTI crude oil was down $1.476 to $107.89 at 2:55 pm EDT, Oct. reformulated gasoline was down 2.98 cents to 273.70 cents and Oct. heating oil was down 5.66 cents to 302.22 cents. Tim Evans of Citi Futures said "the data was at least moderately supportive, with the 1.9 mmbls decline in crude stocks and the counter-seasonal decline in distillate stocks the headline figures. Four-week average gasoline demand is 2.2% less than a year ago. Distillates offtake is up 1.0% over the latest four weeks. These demand numbers are similar to the recent data, so no great surprise." Hurricane Gustav apparently didn't do as much damage in the Gulf of Mexico as feared. But worried about Hurricane Ike in Caribbean.

GOLD FUTURES LOWER AS DOLLAR RISES

MARKETSCOPE: Dec. gold futures, which rose to $819.50 high at outset, off $4.10 to $804.10 at 12:37 pm EDT as commodities selloff continues. Many analysts worried more funds in trouble, being forced to liquidate speculative positions. Ospraie Fund yesterday said it was selling off holdings over the past 3 weeks due to commodities losses. Many analysts still see gold in downtrend. The dollar index is higher, but oil was lower. Gold did not reaction to reports Aug. ISM Nonmanufacturing Index rose to 50.6 from 49.5 in July, Initial Jobless Claims rose 15,000 to 444,000, Q2 Productivity rose 4.3%, unit labor costs fell 0.5%. Bracing for tomorrow's Nonfarm Payrolls report that likely to be weak. Little other news around to influence metals.

Dec. silver futures were up 0.8 cent to $12.955. Oct. platinum futures were up $19.90 to $1412.10. Dec. palladium up $1.40 to $289.80.


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