The price of crude oil was little changed Thursday morning amid a steady dollar as traders await cues from today's economic data. Possible tensions in Middle-East and a dip in crude oil inventories supported prices.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for September delivery, inched down $0.07 to $94.26 a barrel. Yesterday, oil extended gains for a second session to hit a three-month high after a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude stockpiles to have declined last week. Oil prices were also supported by some mixed macroeconomic data from the U.S., notwithstanding a strong dollar.
Wednesday during trading hours, the EIA revealed U.S. crude oil inventories shed 3.70 million barrels and gasoline stocks were down 2.4 million barrels in the weekended August 10.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was steady around its two-week high versus the euro and the Swiss franc, while trading flat against sterling. The buck was ticking higher versus the yen.
In economic news, euro zone annual inflation remained stable at 2.4 percent in July, final data from Eurostat showed Thursday. The rate also matched flash estimate. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were down 0.5 percent in July. The central bank aims to retain inflation rates below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term.
Meanwhile, data from the Office for National Statistics showed that U.K. retail sales grew 0.3 percent in July from a month ago. Economists had forecast a slight 0.1 percent drop after rising 0.8 percent in June. On a yearly basis, sales volume advanced 2.8 percent year-on-year. The increase was better than the 2.6 percent growth logged in June and the consensus forecast of 1.4 percent.
Traders will look to the weekly jobless claims report from the U.S. Labor Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect claims to edge up to 365,000 from 361,000 in the previous week
Simultaneously, the Commerce Department will release its report on housing starts and building permits. Economists estimate housing starts for July to come in at 750,000, while building permits are expected to have increased to 766,000. In June, housing starts and building permits came in at 760,000 and 755,000, respectively.
by RTT Staff Writer
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