The price of crude oil was little changed Wednesday morning as traders await cues from the outcome of the meeting this week of the producer group OPEC.
Earlier today, the IEA, in its monthly Oil Market Report, nudged down its 2012 oil demand growth forecast to 89.90 mbd, citing uncertainty over summer power sector oil demand and non-OECD stockpiling.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for July eased $0.17 to $83.15 a barrel. Yesterday, oil snapped its three-session losing streak as traders were swayed by hopes of further quantitative easing as euro zone woes continued unabated with yields on Spanish and Italian bond surging to record levels.
Tuesday after the market hours, the API said U.S. crude oil inventories rose unexpectedly by 1.6 million barrels, while gasoline stocks dipped 878,000 barrels in the weekended June 08.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was hovering around its two-year high versus the euro and easing to a two-week low against sterling. The buck was moving lower versus the Swiss franc, while ticking higher against the yen.
In economic news, euro zone industrial production declined in April, at a slower than expected pace, data from Eurostat showed. Industrial production logged a monthly fall of 0.8 percent in April after easing 0.1 percent in March. The decline was smaller than economists' expectations for a 1.2 percent drop.
Meanwhile, Germany's harmonized consumer prices rose more than initially estimated in May, final data from the Federal Statistical Office revealed. EU harmonized inflation came in at 2.2 percent in May, revised up from the prior estimate of 2.1 percent. The rate was thus unchanged from the 2.2 percent seen in April.
Traders will look to the report on retail sales from the Commerce Department, due out at 8:30 am ET. For May, economists estimate a 0.2 percent drop in retail sales and a 0.1 percent dip in retail sales that exclude autos. On the other hand, sales, excluding autos and gasoline, may have risen 0.4 percent.
Simultaneously, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on the producer price index for May. Economists expect the headline index for May to have declined by 0.6 percent but the core producer price index to have increased by 0.2 percent.
Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended June 08. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to decline by 1.4 million barrels and gasoline stocks are expected to rise by 1.1 million barrels last week.
by RTT Staff Writer
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