EIA Reports Increase in Crude Oil Inventories

Energy Information Administration released its weekly data on crude oil inventories on Wednesday according to which crude oil stockpiles gained 4.2 million barrels for the week ending February 24th, 2012 as compared to analysts expected increase of 1 million barrels.

EIA also reported decline of 1.6 million barrels in gasoline inventories as compared to expected decline of 180,000 barrels by analysts. Distillates inventories which include heating oil and diesel fell 180,000 barrels for the week while analysts forecasted the decline of 1.3 million barrels.

Crude oil futures for April delivery surged 0.5 percent or $0.52 to settle at $107.07 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The oil remained volatile in the whole session in reaction to stronger US dollar and increase in US GDP growth rate and business activity in Chicago. ISM for the Chicago area rose to 64 for the month of February as compared to 60.2 in January. Further GDP increased to 3 percent for the fourth quarter as compared to 2.8 percent in prior quarter.

Among other commodities, gasoline futures contract for March delivery slightly gained by 0.1 percent to $3.04 per gallon while heating oil for the same month fell 1.1 percent or $0.04 to $3.19 per gallon.

Natural gas futures contract advanced 3.9 percent or $0.10 to settle at $2.62 per million British thermal units on NYMEX.


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