WTI crude oil traded near the highest level in four months in New York, after posting the longest run of weekly gains since April 2009, amid speculation a global economic recovery will boost fuel demand. Nymex crude oil prices increased 0.3 percent week on week due to favorable data from the major consuming nations which raised hopes that demand from the major consuming nations might increase. Additionally, weakness in the DX also supported an upside in the oil prices. However, downward revision of the global growth forecast of by the International Monetary Fund to 3.5% from 3.6% earlier forecasted in the month of October 2012 restricted gains in the crude oil prices. Crude oil prices touched a weekly high of $96.92. WTI crude oil is trading on a positive note this morning at 95.94 but off of last week’s high.
Crude oil prices fell off their weekly high on Thursday due to higher inventories after the Seaway pipeline reduced the volume flowing through it creating a supply gut at Oklahoma, which is the delivery point for NYMEX futures. However the downside was limited after data from Europe signaled signs of economic recovery which can increase the demand. Tensions in the Middle East and Africa can also put pressure on supplies and support prices.
Crude is trading high on speculation that recovery of major oil consuming nation’s economy will boost fuel demand soon. National Bureau of Statistic, Beijing reported industrial profit have climbed up by 5.3%, which is a fourth month gain. Most of the Asian equities are trading high, supporting oil to hold its positive trend. Besides, China gasoline consumption has increased by 7.5% in 2012. Today there are no major releases in Europe that will affect prices. During the US market hour traders can expect prices to gain ahead of the US economic releases. Durable goods orders are likely to increase by 1.9%, whereas pending home sales may increase by 0.40%.
Natural gas prices closed 3.42% lower week on week on the back of break in the frigid cold weather which reduced the demand for this fuel thereby exerting a downside pressure on the prices. However, weakness in the DX cushioned fall in the natural gas prices. Prices touched a weekly low of 3.441mmbtu and closed at 3.444 mmbtu on Friday. Mixed weather forecasts had traders a bit confused for the week. Higher global demand for natural gas with additional stimulus in Japan, one of the world’s largest importer of NG and the terrorist attack in Algeria, supported prices. Still-high inventories and record production have also weighed on prices while warmer weather forecasts for the coming days can hurt the heating demand and push prices down.