The price of crude oil edged down Monday morning as traders await cues from the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress, this week.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for August delivery, eased $0.42 to $86.68 a barrel Last week, oil settled higher after the International Energy Agency raised its oil demand growth forecast and investors weighed some crucial initial jobless claims data which showed first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped by 26,000 last week, the lowest in over four years.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was extending its 2-year high versus the euro, while paring recent losses against sterling. The buck was moving higher versus the Swiss franc and slipping near a monthly low against the yen.
In economic news. euro zone inflation was 2.4 percent in June, unchanged from the previous month, the latest report from Eurostat showed. The figure matched the preliminary estimate. The rate was the lowest since February 2011. On a monthly basis, the harmonized index of consumer prices fell 0.1 percent.
A separate report from the Eurostat revealed that trade surplus in the region rose more than expected by economists in May. The trade balance was in a surplus of EUR 6.9 billion in May, higher than EUR 3.7 billion in April. Economists expected the surplus to rise to EUR 4 billion.
Traders will look to the report on retail sales fro the U.S. Commerce Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists estimate a 0.2 percent increase in retail sales and a 0.1 percent increase in retail sales that exclude autos.
Simultaneously, the results of the New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing survey is slated to be released. The headline general business conditions index for July is expected to come in at 4.50 after declining to 2.3 in June.
During this week focus will be on the July manufacturing surveys of the New York Federal Reserve and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, the weekly jobless claims report and the Federal Reserve's industrial production report for June. Some key housing reports, including the Commerce Department's housing starts report for June, the National Association of Realtors' existing home sales report for June and the National Association of Realtors' housing market index for July are also due for the week.
Also, focus will be on the crude oil inventories data from the API, due out Tuesday after the market hours, and the EIA due out the subsequent day.
by RTT Staff Writer
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