Oil Extends Gains on Signs of Stockpile Slide and Weaker Dollar

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Oil extended gains after an industry group signaled American crude stockpiles fell more than expected and a weaker dollar raised the allure of commodities priced in the U.S. currency.

October futures in New York climbed as much as 0.6 percent after Tuesday’s 0.6 percent advance. Crude inventories fell by 5.17 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report, more than double what analysts forecast government data will show. Also boosting prices is a four-day slide in the greenback, increasing the appeal of dollar-based commodities contracts.

The larger-than-expected stockpiles decline “eased concerns about U.S. inventories after a surprise gain a week earlier,” said Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst at Rakuten Securities Inc. in Tokyo. “If the dollar continues to weaken, it will support oil markets.”

Oil has been struggling to regain the highs of late June as fears over a U.S.-China trade war linger and the contagion risk from Turkey’s economic crisis weighs on prices. Meanwhile, a Trump administration plan to release 11 million barrels of crude from U.S. strategic reserves — a move that may reflect the White House’s worries over tight supplies — was seen short of offsetting the impact of impending sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.

Prices Advance

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery climbed as much as 40 cents to $66.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and traded at $66.21 as of 3:52 p.m. in Tokyo. Total volume traded was about 58 percent below the 100-day average. The September WTI contract expired Tuesday at $67.35.

Brent for October settlement added 37 cents to $73 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract advanced 42 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $72.63 on Tuesday. The global benchmark traded at a $6.80 premium to WTI.

Futures for December delivery rose 1.6 percent to 504.4 yuan a barrel on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange. The contract climbed 1 percent on Tuesday.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slid 1.3 percent in the past four sessions and traded little changed on Wednesday after President Donald Trump was said to complain about the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s Friday speech on monetary policy will be closely watched in financial markets as speculation swirls over the impact of Trump’s remarks on central bank decisions.

Wait and See

Investors are also awaiting the outcome of trade talks between the U.S. and China later this week, the first formal negotiations since June. Still, President Trump said at a rally on Tuesday that various trade talks would take time, signaling a major breakthrough is unlikely.

In crude markets, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg forecast stockpiles fell by 2 million barrels last week, with all but two of the 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expecting a drop when the U.S. government releases data Wednesday. WTI fell last week after the Energy Information Administration showed crude inventories unexpectedly rose the previous week while stockpiles at the Cushing storage hub in Oklahoma climbed for the first time since May.

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