News Column

Crude Oil Above USD103 On Geopolitical Tensions

July 18, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Crude oil prices are higher Friday morning, extending recent gains, as geopolitical concerns and supply worries continue to weigh.

A significant drop in US crude stockpiles and fairly encouraging data on US manufacturing activity and jobless claims are also supporting oil's rise.

Worries about the impact of new and tougher US sanctions on some major Russian banks and energy firms including major oil producer Rosneft on the global economy are also contributing to oil's upmove.

Crude oil futures for August are up USD0.23 or 0.23% at USD103.43 a barrel.

With Thursday's crash of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet in Ukraine raising geopolitical concerns to a new level, crude oil futures ended up USD1.99 or 2.0% at USD103.19 a barrel.

Wednesday's official inventory data from the US Energy Administration that showed a notable drop in oil stockpiles last week contributed as well to oil's sharp rise.

Meanwhile, natural gas for August is up USD0.019 or 0.49% USD3.974 per million btu.

Traders will be looking ahead to the results of preliminary consumer sentiment survey for July from Reuters and the University of Michigan, due at 9:55 am ET. Economists expect the index to rise to 83 in July from 82.5 in June.

The Conference Board is due to release its US leading economic indicators index for June at 10 am ET. The consensus estimates call for a 0.5% month-over-month increase in the index.

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Source: Alliance News

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