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US Crude Oil Edges Up In Asia As China GDP Supports Demand Views

CommoditiesOct 18, 2017 10:30PM ET
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© Reuters. US crude gains in Asia - Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Thursday, supported by solid GDP figures for the third quarter in China, the world's second largest crude importer, and soaring demand by the nation's refineries.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery edged up 0.02% to $52.05 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent was flat at $58.15 a barrel.

China on Thursday reported third quarter GDP came in as expected to show a gain of 1.7% on quarter and 6.8% rise on year, while industrial production rose 6.6%, more than the 6.2% increase seen in September and fixed asset investment gained 7.5%, below the 7.7% gain seen. Retail sales in China rose 10.3%, beating the expected up 10.2% increase.

China's September domestic crude oil production fell 2.9% to 15.53 million metric tons, according to the National Statistical Bureau on Thursday. National crude oil throughput rose 12.7% in September over the same year-ago level to 49.34 million metric tons and natural gas production rose 10.7% in September to 11.2 billion cubic meters.

Earlier in Japan, the trade balance came in at a surplus of ¥670 billion, wider than the ¥560 billion surplus seen for September. Australia reported jobs data with 19,800 workers added, compared to 15,000 under employment change expected, helping the unemployment rate dip to 5.5% from 5.6%.

Overnight, crude oil prices settled higher on Wednesday as investors cheered data showing U.S. crude stockpiles fell more-than-expected for the fourth straight week easing concerns over an expected uptick in domestic production.

Crude oil prices continued their bullish to the week after a report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude stockpiles fell-more-than-expected but an uptick in gasoline supplies limited upside momentum.

Inventories of U.S. crude fell by roughly 5.7m barrels in the week ended Oct. 13, beating expectations of a draw of 4.2m barrels.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, rose by roughly 908,000 barrels, well above expectations of a draw of 256,000 barrels while distillate stockpiles rose by about 528,000 barrels, missing expectations of a decline of 1.45m barrels.

The uptick in supplies of refinery products such as gasoline comes amid a traditional slowdown in refinery activity as refiners undergo seasonal maintenance.

Also supporting an uptick in crude prices were signs of tightening in U.S. output despite ongoing concerns that rising crude prices would encourage domestic shale producers to ramp up output.

The EIA reported a drop of nearly 1.1 million barrels a day in U.S. production from the lower 48 States, putting total output at 7.9 million barrels a day.

Elsewhere investors continued to monitor the possibility of supply disruptions amid ongoing political uncertainty in Iraq following conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces earlier in the week.

Kurdish forces on Tuesday pulled out of disputed areas in region after Iraqi forces ceased control of the oil rich city of Kirkuk. The majority Kurdish region of Northern Iraq exports nearly 600,000 barrels of oil a day.

US Crude Oil Edges Up In Asia As China GDP Supports Demand Views

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