The price of crude oil was ticking higher Tuesday morning as traders await more cues from the U.S. automatic budget cuts came into effect last week.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for April delivery, edged up $0.28 to $90.40 a barrel. Yesterday, oil settled lower on demand growth concerns, while tracking declining global equity markets after automatic budget cuts in the U.S. came into effect last week and on China worries. Oil prices were also impacted by developments in the eurozone, with no sight of a political solution in Italy, and as well on production problems in Libya and a pipeline system closure in the North Sea.
This morning, the U.S. dollar was hovering around its 2-month high versus the euro, while leveling off from its 30-month high against sterling. The buck was trading around its two-and half year high versus the yen and ticking higher against the Swiss franc.
In economic news, an indicator of eurozone's service sector activity declined in February, but the rate of fall was less steeper than estimated earlier, detailed results of a survey by Markit Economics showed. The services activity index rose to 47.9 in February from 48.6 in January. The flash reading was 47.3. An index reading below 50 indicates contraction of the sector.
Retail sales in the eurozone increased more than economists expected in January, recovering from the previous month's decrease, latest data showed. Retail sales volume increased 1.2 percent on a monthly basis in January, reversing the previous month's 0.8 percent decrease, which was revised from 0.9 percent, statistical office Eurostat said. Economists had forecast sales to rise 0.3 percent.
Elsewhere, Germany's private sector expanded more than estimated in February, survey data from Markit Economics showed. The final composite output index - which measures the combined output of the manufacturing and service sectors, came in at 53.3 in February, above the flash estimate of 52.7.
From the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release the results of its non-manufacturing survey at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect the index to edge down to 55 in February from 55.2 in January.
Today after the market hours, the API will release its US crude oil inventories report for the weekended March 01.
by RTT Staff Writer
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