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Crude Oil Rallies After Inventory Data

Crude oil futures nudged back above $60 a barrel Wednesday, as the U.S. dollar weakened on downbeat economic data.

A relatively small build in U.S. oil stockpiles also helped crude oil rebound from its recent losses.

The Energy Information Administration reported a third consecutive weekly build in oil inventories. This time, the build was 1.8 million barrels for the week to February 9, roughly in line with estimates.

Nymex March oil futures were 2.4% higher at $60.60 a barrel, moving back near January's 4-year peak near $66.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell by 0.3 percent in January compared to economist estimates for a 0.2 percent uptick in sales.

"Overall, some of the weakness in January retail sales could be linked to the unusually high number of reported flu cases last month but, on balance, it was probably inevitable that sales would start to slow after their recent strength," Andrew Hunter, U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

The news overshadowed today's closely-watched inflation report.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index climbed by 0.5 percent in January after edging up by a revised 0.2 percent in December.

Economists had expected consumer prices to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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