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Crude Ticks Up Ahead Of Inventories Data

The price of crude oil was moving higher Friday morning as traders await cues from the official inventories data.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for February delivery, added $0.25 to $91.12 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled marginally lower on increased fears over the stalemate in the U.S. budget talks, with investors closely tracking developments surrounding the fiscal cliff negotiations. With President Barack Obama back in Washington, hopes are now focused on his further interaction with the Congress to overcome the fiscal cliff that is fast approaching deadline.

Thursday after the market hours, the API said U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels and gasoline inventories increased by 2.4 million barrels in the weekended December 21.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was lingering around its 7-month low versus the euro and advancing near a three-week high against sterling. The buck was trading around its 2-year high versus the yen and ticking higher against the Swiss franc.

In economic news from the euro zone, French consumer spending recorded surprise improvement in November, data from the statistical office Insee showed. The overall consumer spending was up 0.2 percent month-on-month in November, after a revised 0.1 percent fall in the previous month. Economists expected spending to remain unchanged.

A separate report from the Insee showed that the French economy expanded only 0.1 percent in the third quarter from the prior quarter. The third quarter growth was downgraded from 0.2 percent and follows a 0.1 percent fall in the second quarter

Traders will look to the report on pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors, due out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect the reading to come in at -0.3 percent for the month of August, down from last months 5.2 percent.

Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its U.S. crude oil inventories report for the weekended December 21. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to decline by 1.9 million barrels and gasoline stocks to gain by 0.5 million barrels last week.

by RTT Staff Writer

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