Crude oil falls on second day
Oil extended losses as Asian and U.S. stocks declined after a measure of consumer confidence trailed projections. Crude inventories rose last week, the American Petroleum Institute reported late yesterday.
“The crude build reported this week in the API data caught observers’ eyes,” said Geoff Clear, the global co-head of commodities at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore. “As a consequence of the rather large inventory bank in the U.S., there’s no real urgency to produce a lot of material, and crude stocks will tend to stay rather high.”
Crude oil for September delivery fell as much as 70 cents, or 1 percent, to $66.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded at $66.66 at 1:16 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, futures dropped $1.15, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $67.23 a barrel. Prices have gained 49 percent this year.
U.S. crude-oil inventories climbed 4.07 million barrels to 352.4 million last week, according to the API. Gasoline inventories were little changed at 213.6 million barrels, API data showed.
“The API numbers don’t exactly give us a sense that we’re going to get any bullish surprise tonight,” said Toby Hassall, research analyst at Commodity Warrants Australia Pty in Sydney.
A U.S. Energy Department report today will probably show that crude-oil inventories dropped 1.6 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.6 percent to 109.84 as of 1:22 p.m. in Tokyo, with two stocks falling for each one that rose. The gauge had climbed 13 percent in the past 11 days, the longest winning streak since January 2004.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.3 percent in New York from an eight-month high, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 percent. The Conference Board’s confidence index tumbled to 46.6, from 49.3 in June, a report from the New York-based group showed yesterday.
“The disappointing consumer confidence reading was a bit of a setback for oil,” Hassall said. “The strength we’ve seen lately has really been built on economic optimism and sentiment, rather than fundamentals.”
Brent crude oil for September settlement declined as much as 46 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $69.42 a barrel, and traded at $69.60 at 1:13 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, it declined 93 cents, or 1.3 percent, to end yesterday’s session at $69.88 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The API collects stockpile information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the Department of Energy for its weekly survey.