Oil Futures Settle Lower Ahead Of Inventory Data

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, weighed down by concerns the slowdown in global economic growth could weaken the outlook for energy demand.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lowered its 2021 global growth forecast, citing supply chain disruptions amid the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant and cost pressures.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down by $0.20 or about 0.3% at $80.44 a barrel, coming off a low of $79.42.

Brent crude futures were down $0.17 or about 0.2% at $83.25 a barrel a little while ago.

According to reports, China’s crude oil imports in September dropped by 15.3% from a year earlier.

Data from the Labor Department showed the consumer price index climbed by 0.4% in September after rising by 0.3% in August. Economists had been expecting another 0.3% increase.

Excluding higher prices for food and energy, core consumer prices edged up by 0.2% in September after inching up by 0.1% in August. The uptick in core prices matched economist estimates.

The report also showed the annual rate of growth in consumer prices accelerated to 5.4% in September from 5.3% in August, while the annual rate of growth in core prices was unchanged at 4%.

Traders awaited weekly oil reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Due to Columbus Day holiday on Monday, the reports from API and EIA are delayed by a day.

While the API’s report is due later today, the EIA will release its inventory data Thursday morning.

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