News Column

Crude Oil Below USD93 Ahead Of US Economic Data

August 21, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Crude oil futures are notably lower Thursday morning, ahead of a slew of US economic data, including reports on jobless claims and existing home sales.

Commodities were also weighed down by concerns over a global slowdown after a weak reading on Chinese manufacturing activity in August.

Traders continue to watch the developments in Ukraine and the Middle East.

In Iraq, the US military has reportedly scaled up airstrikes in Iraq, shrugging off threats from Islamic militants' threats to kill another US reporter held by them.

On Wednesday, the militants released a video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley, retaliating against US airstrikes in Iraq.

Crude oil futures for October are down USD0.71 or 0.77% at USD92.74 a barrel

Yesterday, crude oil futures for October ended up USD0.59 or 0.6% at USD93.45 a barrel, after a report from the US Energy Information Administration showed a bigger than expected drop in crude oil stockpiles in the week ended August 15.

Meanwhile, natural gas for September is up USD0.088 or 2.30% at USD3.911 per million btu.

The US Labor Department will release its weekly jobless claims report at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect claims to have declined to 300,000 from 311,000 in the previous week.

At 9:45 am ET, Markit is due to release the results of its preliminary US manufacturing purchasing managers' survey for August.

The National Association of Realtors will release its existing home sales report for July at 10 am ET. Around the same time, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of its regional manufacturing survey.

Also at 10 am ET, the Conference Board is due to release its leading economic indicators index for the US The consensus estimate calls for a 0.6% month-over-month increase in the index.

Markets also await some crucial comments later this week from top bankers at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole symposium, including the Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

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Source: Alliance News

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