In the commodities markets, crude oil prices fell in recent trading activity on concerns that demand for oil will be hurt by Europe’s spreading debt crisis. Crude posted its second consecutive weekly loss but limiting oil’s slide were geopolitical tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and Middle East unrest.
US crude stocks fell sharply in recent trading activity as refinery rates rose and crude imports fell, US Energy Information Administration data showed.
Crude stocks in the United States fell by 6.22 million barrels to 330.82 million barrels the EIA said. Analysts had projected a 500,000 barrel build on average. Crude stocks fell to their lowest level since late January, EIA data showed. Note that companies like CMC Markets and Tradefair let investors take position on commodities futures.
Gasoline stocks rose 4.48 million barrels to 209.63 million barrels, compared with a 1.1 million barrel build forecast by analysts.
Distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, fell 770,000 barrels to 132.96 million barrels, compared with an average forecast for a 1.3 million barrel draw. Distillate stocks, at the lowest since late 2008, have posted their largest eight-week drop since 1995 over the last two months, EIA data showed.
Oil was pressured from a weaker reading on US third-quarter economic growth. US gross domestic product grew at a 2.0 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the US Commerce Department said in its second estimate, down from the previously estimated 2.5 percent and below economists’ expectations.
The West is not the only region facing weak economic growth that could hurt oil demand going forward. China’s economy faces growing risks from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and from debt held by local Chinese governments, the World Bank said, though it said China could engineer a soft landing by easing monetary policy.
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