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Crude Edges Up Ahead Of Official Inventories Data


The price of crude oil was moving higher Wednesday morning amid a recovery in equity markets, with traders awaiting cues from the official inventories data, due out later today.

Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for April delivery, rose $0.22 to $92.85 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled at a near two-month low on demand concerns with the political deadlock in Italy fueling renewed concerns over recovery in the eurozone economy. Investors largely ignored some upbeat macroeconomic out of the U.S., where consumer confidence rose and new home sales rebounded.

Tuesday after the market hours, the API said US crude oil inventories climbed 904,000 barrels, while gasoline inventories dropped 1.4 million barrels last week.

This morning, the U.S. dollar was hovering around its 2-month high versus the euro and its 30-month high against sterling. The buck was trading around its two-and half year high versus the yen and ticking lower against the Swiss franc.

In economic news from the euro zone, confidence among German households is set to improve for the second straight month in March, with expectations turning more optimistic as the financial crisis in the euro area is calming down, fueling hopes that recovery will gather momentum in the early months of the year, a monthly survey revealed. The results of a forward-looking survey by the GfK showed that the consumer confidence index based on the survey will rise to 5.9 in March from 5.8 in February, marking the second consecutive monthly growth. The projected figure matched economists' forecast

The British economy contracted 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, unrevised from the previous estimate, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed. The third quarter GDP figures were revised up to show a 1 percent growth for the period compared to 0.9 percent growth reported initially.

Eurozone economic confidence improved for the fourth straight month in February, survey data from the European Commission showed. The economic sentiment index came in at 91.1, up from 89.5 in the prior month. The reading stayed above the consensus forecast of 89.9

Traders will look to the durable goods order report for January from the Commerce Department, due out at 8:30 a.m ET. Economists expect durable goods orders to decline by 4 percent month-over-month, while excluding transportation orders may have edged up 0.2 percent.

Later during the session, the National Association of Realtors will release its pending home sales index. The consensus estimates call for a 3 percent increase in pending home sales compared to a 4.3 percent drop in the previous month.

Today during trading hours, the EIA will release its US crude oil inventories report for the weekended February 22. Analysts expect US crude oil inventories to add 2.5 million barrels and gasoline stocks to decline 1 million barrels last week.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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