China Business Blog - Aggregated China Business Blogs
Aggregated China Business Blogs
Oil lower after housing data
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

OIL fell yesterday after the US government said sales of previously occupied homes dipped in June.

West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark crude, dropped US$1.14 to finish at US$106.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Sales of previously occupied homes in the US slipped 1.2 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million. Any sign that the US economic recovery is slowing can depress oil prices.

Oil is still up more than US$13 a barrel since June 21, underpinned by sharp declines in US stockpiles and concerns of supply disruptions in the Middle East.

Some analysts, however, say the fundamental rules of supply and demand alone do not justify the rise and speculators are also pushing the price higher.

"While crude oil stocks have declined for three weeks in a row, fundamentals in the gasoline and distillates markets appear less supportive," said a report from JBC Energy in Vienna. "Stock levels for oil products are in line or above the 5-year average, and domestic demand is anything but impressive."

Energy analysts at The Schork Group Inc. said open interest, which is the number of open futures contracts, is at record levels as is participation of Wall Street hedge funds and investors such as commodity pool operators. They said in a report that Wall Street now owns six times as many barrels of oil in the WTI futures market as there are sitting at the Nymex oil delivery terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Brent crude, which is traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, rose 8 cents to end at US$108.15 a barrel.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

- Wholesale gasoline lost 7 cents to finish at US$3.06 a gallon.

- Heating oil gave up 2 cents to end at US$3.07 a gallon.

- Natural gas retreated by 11 cents to finish at US$3.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Original URL: Click here to visit original article
Copyright Shanghai Daily: Business