NYMEX-Crude ends up; weak GDP raises hopes for Fed easing
* Weak GDP data spurs hope for more U.S. Fed easing * Global supply tops demand, despite Iran sanctions-EIA * Coming up: API petroleum inventory data, Tuesday NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures ended higher on Friday, up for the sixth session in a row, on hopes that weaker-than-expected growth data will spur the U.S. Fed to initiate more monetary-easing. An initial estimate showed the first quarter U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, slowing from 3 percent in the fourth quarter. That was below economists' expectations for a 2.5 percent pace, but stronger than the 1.5 percent or less they forecast at the beginning of the quarter. Trading was light but perked up a bit about an hour before the close of floor trading as traders attempted to test resistance at $105, which was hit just minutes before the close. Prices then receded again. Oil futures got support from Wall Street, which advanced for a fourth straight day, as stronger earnings from bellwether stocks overshadowed the weaker-than-expected GDP data. FUNDAMENTALS * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude for June delivery settled at $104.93 a barrel, gaining 38 cents, or 0.36 percent, after trading between $103.74 and $105, where it encountered resistance. * For the week, front-month crude gained $1.88, or 1.82 percent, rising for the second straight week. * U.S. crude's trading volume was 304,511 contracts, 43.9 percent below its 30-day average and the lowest since March 26, according to Reuters data. * Implied volatility of U.S. crude futures dropped to a record low of 24.12, surpassing the previous low of 24.60 hit on Thursday, according to the Chicago Board Options Exchange's Oil Volatility Index. * In London, ICE June Brent crude settled at $119.83, down 9 cents, or 0.08 percent, paring losses late in the day, and narrowing its premium against U.S. crude to $14.90, from $15.37 on Thursday. * NYMEX May heating oil closed down 1.37 cents, or 0.43 percent, at $3.1807 a gallon. For the week, it rose 5.68 cents, or 1.8 percent, rebounding from a 1.17 percent loss in the week April 20. * NYMEX May RBOB gasoline settled up 2.29 cents, or 0.72 percent, at $3.2062 a gallon. For the week, it gained 6.35 cents, or 2 percent, after sustaining a 6 percent loss last week. * Hedge funds and other large investors reduced their net long positions on U.S. crude futures and options for the week to April 24 by 2,878 to 196,426, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a weekly report. * Global oil inventories grew in March and April by 500,000 barrels per day despite the loss of further supplies from Iran, according to a U.S. government report, giving the Obama administration leeway to press ahead with sanctions against the OPEC producer. * U.S. exports of refined petroleum products beat imports by more than a million barrels per day in February as high prices crimped domestic gasoline demand while the country's refiners shipped record volumes of diesel abroad, government data showed. * Mexican oil production rose to 2.55 million bpd in March, up from 2.543 million bpd in February, Mexico's state oil monopoly PEMEX said. * South Sudan, embroiled in border fighting with its northern neighbor Sudan, said that Sudanese-backed rebel militia attacked a town in the South's oil-producing Upper Nile state, broadening the conflict. [ID: nL6E8FR6VT] MARKETS NEWS * U.S. equities rose for the fourth day in a row and posted their best weekly gains in a month as stronger-than-expected earnings from Amazon.com Inc and Expedia Inc, outweighed a weak reading of U.S. economic growth. * The dollar slumped to multi-week lows against the euro and the yen after release of the U.S. GDP estimate, raising the prospect of further stimulus from the U.S. Fed. * Copper rallied to a three-week high, with a weak dollar and growing signs of supply tightness helping the metal extend a strong recovery following a 2 percent slide on Monday. * Gold rose for a fourth session and posted its biggest weekly gain since late February as the weak U.S GDP growth rate estimate and European debt worries improved investment demand for the precious metal. UPCOMING DATA/EVENTS * American Petroleum Institute's weekly U.S. inventory report, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) SETTLE NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT DAY AGO CHNG CHNG VOL VOL CLc1 104.93 0.38 0.4% 103.74 105.00 162,179 192,832 CLc2 105.32 0.38 0.4% 104.14 105.37 35,066 46,723 LCOc1 119.83 -0.09 -0.1% 119.06 119.95 166,243 225,240 RBc1 3.2062 0.0229 0.7% 3.1694 3.2100 21,047 29,937 RBc2 3.1445 0.0117 0.4% 3.1133 3.1528 68,340 63,141 HOc1 3.1807 -0.0137 -0.4% 3.1667 3.1966 11,233 23,597 HOc2 3.1835 -0.0149 -0.5% 3.1704 3.2051 64,323 69,291 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME OPEN INTEREST CURRENT Apr 26 30D AVG Apr 26 NET CHNG CRUDE 304,511 417,413 528,842 1,564,195 -5,517 RBOB 167,951 172,547 183,188 358,213 -11,595 HO 167,380 162,732 134,524 312,852 5,197
- North Korea says Kim's powerful uncle dismissed for 'criminal acts'
- Protesters fell Lenin statue, tell Ukraine's president 'you're next'
- Thai PM calls snap election, protesters press on
- Singapore hit by rare outbreak of rioting, 27 arrested |
- Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine feted at Kennedy Center Honors