Oil Mixed Ahead of Weekly Supply Data

NEW YORK (DTN) -- New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures moved mixed Wednesday morning ahead of federal data that’s expected to show a sixth straight weekly build for domestic commercial crude inventories while gasoline and distillate supplies are seen falling again.

The Energy Information Administration is set to release its oil supply data for the week ended Oct. 30 at 9:30 a.m. CT and the market expects it to show a 2.8 million barrel build for crude stocks and draws of 1.0 million bbl and 2.2 million bbl for gasoline and distillate stockpiles, respectively.

The oil futures complex was initially boosted by temporary Colonial pipeline outages in Atlanta and Houston, and the RBOB contract remains the strongest segment of the complex.

At 8 a.m. CT, the NYMEX December West Texas Intermediate futures contract eased 16 cents to $47.74 bbl after inside trade while the ICE December Brent futures contract slipped 26 cents to $50.28 bbl.

NYMEX December ULSD futures held on to fractional gains at $1.5668 gallon, off a three-week spot high of $1.5816. The December RBOB futures contract was up 1.30cts to $1.4585 gallon, off a two-month spot high of $1.4714.

Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported crude stocks rose by 2.8 million bbl in the week-ended Oct. 30 as expected, while gasoline stocks fell 3.0 million bbl, three times above expectations, and distillate stocks declined 200,000 bbl that was less than estimates.

Crude oil stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures fell 500,000 bbl as expected.

The market will also keep a close eye on the economy.

Data from China showed the service sector expanded in October at the fastest rate in three months, although eurozone growth remains weak.

In Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify before Congress this morning, and the market is looking for any clues to the timing of a hike in the benchmark federal funds rate. The odds for a rate hike in December are up 52% from 34% last month, according to a Bloomberg survey.

George Orwel can be reached at george.orwel@telventdtn.com