News Column

Crude Oil Holds Above USD106 Ahead Of Fed, Inventories

June 18, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Crude oil prices are higher Wednesday morning, amid reports about Sunni militants attacking Iraq's main oil refinery.

Investors are also looking ahead to the official inventories data and the outcome of the two-day Federal Reserve policy meet that ends later in the day.

The US Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum status report for the week ended June 13th at 10:30 am ET.

A report from the American Petroleum Institute released late Tuesday showed crude oil stockpiles declined by 5.7 million barrels in the week ended June 13.

Crude oil futures for August are up USD0.37 or 0.35% at USD106.25 a barrel.

On Tuesday, crude oil futures ended down USD0.54 or 0.5% at USD106.36 a barrel, after scaling a high of USD107.18 a barrel intraday. Some disappointing economic data including a more than expected drop in housing starts contributed to oil's weakness. However, worries about possible supply disruptions from Russia and Iraq limited oil's losses.

Natural gas for July is up USD0.059 or 1.26% at USD4.769 per million btu.

The US Commerce Department will release its current account data for the first quarter at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect a deficit of USD99.8 billion for the quarter, wider than the deficit of USD81.1 billion in the fourth quarter.

The Federal Reserve will announce its monetary policy decision at 2 pm ET. The central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates unchanged, while it is expected to continue trimming the size of its asset purchase program by another USD10 billion.

Also at 2 pm ET, the Fed will release updated forecasts for the economy and half an hour later Chair Janet Yellen will host the customary post-meeting press briefing.

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Source: Alliance News