Crude Oil Futures Gain on Positive Retail Sales Data

Crude oil futures gained on Tuesday in reaction to upbeat tone of Federal Reserve’s officials about the US economy and positive retail sales report.

Crude oil futures contract for April delivery advanced 0.04 percent or $0.37 to settle at $106.71 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, investors were very pessimistic on crude oil outlook as China reported it’s larger than expected trade deficit raising concerns over global economic slowdown. However on Tuesday, the upbeat US macro economic data and positive tone of US Fed officials resulted in appreciation for curd oil. The retail sales increased 1.1 percent in the month of February as compared to January.

In euro zone, the Germany’s ZEW investor sentiment index also gained to 22.3 for the month of March as compared to 5.4 in February. Despite stronger US dollar the above positive factors kept oil in positive territory for the day.

Later in the day, American Petroleum Institute released its inventories data according to which crude oil inventories gained 2.8 million barrels for the week ending March 9th, 2012. Gasoline inventories fell 2.1 million barrels while the distillates stockpiles slipped 3.5 million barrels according to the trade group.

Among other commodities, gasoline futures contract for April delivery gained 1 percent or $0.03 to $3.35 per gallon while heating oil futures for April delivery advanced 0.9 percent or $0.03 to settle at $3.27 per gallon.

Natural gas futures contract for April delivery gained 1.3 percent or $0.03 to $2.30 per million British thermal units.

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