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NYMEX-Crude ends up; weak GDP raises hopes for Fed easing
April 27, 2012 / 10:05 PM / in 5 years

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

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