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Crude drops on U.S. housing data, quarterly earnings

CommoditiesOct 19, 2012 01:32PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - Crude oil futures dropped in U.S. trading on Friday after industry data revealed existing homes sales declined in the U.S. last month.

Weak corporate earnings pushed oil prices down also, fueling concerns that a sluggish U.S. economy will need less fuels and energy to operate.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at USD90.83 a barrel on Friday, down 1.84%, off from a session high of USD93.49 and up from an earlier session low of USD90.39.

U.S. existing home sales in September fell in line with expectations, industry data revealed on Friday.

In a report, the National Association of Realtors said that home sales fell 1.7% to 4.75 million from 4.83 million in August, whose figure was revised up from 4.82 million.

Analysts had expected existing home sales to fall to 4.75 million last month, though crude fell anyway on sentiments the U.S. economy faces strong headwinds.

Earnings fueled the risk-off trading session even more.

Microsoft reported late Thursday that its third-quarter net income fell 22% to USD4.47 billion, which missed expectations, while revenue fell 8% on year to USD16.01 billion.

General Electric, meanwhile, reported earlier that its third-quarter net income rose 8% to USD3.49 billion, while revenue rose 3% to USD36.35, missing market expectations.

Search giant Google released earnings earlier than planned late Thursday, which sparked confusion, and missed estimates as well.

The company reported revenue of USD14.10 billion, up 45% on year, though net income came to USD2.18 billion, down 20% on year and below expectations.

Thursday's U.S. employment data dampened appetite for risk as well.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose by 46,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, compared to expectations for an increase to 365,000.

The previous week’s figure was revised up to 342,000 from a previously reported 339,000, which was the lowest reading since February 2008.

Meanwhile in Europe, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government felt it was under no pressure to seek a bailout, which pressured oil down further.

Requesting financial assistance would allow Spain to tap the European Central Bank's bond-buying program, which would lower yields in Spanish government debt auctions and ease credit conditions in the country.

Investors shrugged off production snags involving the Keystone pipeline and in the North Sea.

On the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for December delivery were down 1.43% and trading at USD110.81  a barrel, up USD19.98 from its U.S. counterpart.

Crude drops on U.S. housing data, quarterly earnings

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