Crude Steady After Inventory Report

Oil fluctuated as U.S. inventories gained more than expected last week and the economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter.

Prices were steady after the Energy Information Administration reported stockpiles increased 5.95 million barrels. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a gain of 2.5 million. Gross domestic product dropped at a 0.1 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department reported, weaker than any forecast in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

“We are well-supplied and fundamentally oil should be a lot lower,” said Tariq Zahir, a New York-based commodity fund manager at Tyche Capital Advisors. “The GDP number is a big surprise.”

West Texas Intermediate for March rose 7 cents to $97.64 a barrel at 10:35 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 15 percent above the 100-day average. The price was $97.62 before the report.

Brent for March settlement rose 5 cents to $114.41 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 7 percent above the 100-day average.

Oil inventories increased for a second week, to 369.1 million in the week ended Jan. 25, the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistics arm, reported. Gasoline stockpiles fell 956,000 barrels to 232.3 million. Distillate fuels, including heating oil and diesel, dropped 2.32 million to 130.6 million.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell