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Crude Ticks Up Ahead Of Inventories Data

The price of crude oil was moving higher Wednesday morning on hopes that U.S. policy makers will reach a deal in time to avert the fiscal cliff. Also, traders await cues from the official weekly inventories data from the EIA.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, added $0.41 to $88.81 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled marginally higher tracking rising equity markets, mostly on hopes of a resolution to the U.S. budget talks that will avert the impending fiscal cliff and optimism of oil demand growth after some upbeat macroeconomic data out of the U.S.

Tuesday after the market hours, the API said US crude oil inventories fell 4.1 million barrels, while gasoline stocks gained 4.20 million in the weekended December 14.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was extending its 7-month low versus the euro and a 2-month low against sterling. The buck was hovering near its 9-month high versus the yen and ticking lower against the Swiss franc.

In economic news from the euro zone, Germany's business confidence improved more than expected in December, survey results from the Ifo Institute revealed. The headline business climate index rose to 102.4. The reading was forecast to climb to 102 from 101.4 in November.

Euro zone's current account surplus increased in October, but was lower than expected by economists, a report from the European Central Bank showed The seasonally adjusted current account surplus rose to EUR 3.9 billion in October from EUR 2.4 billion in September. Economists expected the surplus to rise to EUR 6.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England policymakers voted 8-1 to leave the stimulus programme unchanged at GBP 375 billion, the minutes of the December monetary policy meeting showed

Traders will look to the data on housing starts and building permits from the US Commerce Department, due out at 8.30 a.m ET. Economists expect housing starts to come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 865,000, while building permits for the month are expected at 875,000.

Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its US crude oil inventories report for the weekended December 14. Analysts expect 2.3 million decline in crude oil supplies, while gasoline stocks are seen adding 2 million barrels last week.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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