Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oil Hovers Below $69 Amid Weak Crude Demand

. Tuesday, September 15, 2009

By stockOzone team

Oil prices hovered below $69 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as investors weighed concerns about weak crude demand against optimism of a global economic recovery.

Benchmark crude for October delivery was down 21 cents at $68.66 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the contract fell 43 cents to settle at $68.86.

Oil has meandered between $65 and $75 this summer as crude stocks soar and traders eye slumping consumer spending.

U.S. oil inventories are higher now than in May, and analysts expect demand to drop off in the autumn following the summer driving season.

Investors will be looking at supply data from the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday and the Energy Information Agency on Wednesday for clues about the consumption trend. Analysts expect inventories to drop 3.0 million barrels, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Crude investors have also been mulling the U.S. dollar, which fell to its lows of the year last week. The dollar rebounded late last week, sparking a $4 drop in oil prices.

The euro was steady Tuesday in Asian trading at $1.4624 and the dollar held near 91 yen.

In other Nymex trading, gasoline for October delivery was steady at $1.74 a gallon, and heating oil held at $1.74 a gallon. Natural gas surged 18.2 cents to $3.48 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude was fell 37 cents to $67.15.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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