April 25, 2012 / 8:41 PM / 7 years ago

NYMEX-Crude ends up as stocks rally counters inventory rise

* U.S. equities rally, helps lift oil prices
    * Fed keeps rates low, stands ready to help more if needed
    * U.S. crude stocks rose, products fell, last week-EIA
    * Coming up: U.S. jobless claims data 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday

    NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose on
Wednesday after a tug-of-war session, receiving a late lift from
Wall Street's rally, the Federal Reserve reiterating its low
interest rate policy, and falling refined products stocks that
offset rising crude inventories.	
    U.S. stocks rose and the Nasdaq posted its best percentage
gain for 2012 a day after Apple's blowout results further lifted
optimism about the strength of earnings. 	
    Pushing the S&P 500 higher, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
Bernanke said the Fed stands ready to act if further economic
help is needed.	
    While Bernanke held open the prospect of further bond
buying, or quantitative easing, he did not offer any suggestion
that a third round of purchases was necessarily in the offing. 	
    In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed's policy
panel reiterated its expectation that rates would not rise until
late 2014 at the earliest. 	
    Oil futures received pressure intraday from Energy
Information Administration data showing U.S. crude stocks rose
3.98 million barrels last week, more than expected and counter
to an industry report on Tuesday that showing an inventory
drop.  	
    But gasoline stocks fell 2.24 million barrels, more than
expected, and distillate stocks fell 3.05 million barrels,
counter to an expected small build. 	
    While gasoline demand in the four weeks to April 20 remained
below the year-ago period, distillate demand managed a 0.1
percent rise, the EIA said. 	
    Refinery capacity utilization inched up only 0.1 percent to
84.7 percent.	
    U.S. RBOB gasoline futures dipped slightly, while
heating oil rose more than 3 cents and heating oil gained
a premium to gasoline for the first time since Feb. 29,
according to Reuters data. 	
            	
    FUNDAMENTALS	
    * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June crude 
 rose 57 cents, or 0.55 percent, to settle at $104.12 a
barrel, having traded from $103.11 to $104.57.	
    * Four cargoes of North Sea Forties crude loading in May
have been delayed after production problems at Britain's largest
oilfield, trade sources said. Nexen said its
200,000-barrel per day Buzzard field, shut down after a problem
with a gas compressor on its newest platform over the weekend
was restarting after repairs. 	
    * Russia will continue its abundant Urals crude
exports in May, a preliminary export schedule showed.
 	
    * Production at Iraq's West Qurna Phase-2 oilfield was
expected to hit 500,000 bpd in 2014, Iraq's oil minister said as
drilling of the first oil well began. 	
    * Goldman Sachs maintained its near-term neutral
recommendation on the commodities complex as a whole on renewed
euro zone debt concerns and a modest slowing in U.S. growth,
despite signs of China beginning to pick up after a policy
induced slowdown late last year. 	
    * Demand U.S. durable manufactured goods tumbled by the most
in three years in March and businesses cut back on spending
plans. 	
        	
    MARKETS NEWS	
    * Copper sustained gains near a two-week high in heavy
volume after the Federal Reserve said U.S. economic activity
should grow moderately in the next quarters then pick up speed.
 	
    * Gold was flat in a volatile session that saw the precious
metal tumble $10 an ounce after the Federal Reserve ended a
two-day policy meeting, then quickly recover those losses and
briefly turn higher. 	
       	
    UPCOMING DATA/EVENTS	
    * U.S. jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) on
Thursday.	
    * U.S. Energy Information Administration natural gas storage
data at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Thursday.	
    * U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission positions data
at 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) on Friday.	
    	
        SETTLE     NET    PCT     LOW    HIGH  CURRENT  DAY AGO
                  CHNG   CHNG                      VOL      VOL
 CLc1   104.12    0.57   0.6%  103.11  104.57  261,074  196,136
 CLc2   104.50    0.54   0.5%  103.51  104.94   65,480   41,359
 LCOc1  119.12    0.96   0.8%  117.45  119.25  233,677  173,505
 RBc1   3.1557 -0.0036  -0.1%  3.1107  3.1746   23,332   41,371
 RBc2   3.1191 -0.0050  -0.2%  3.0788  3.1394   67,407   60,970
 HOc1   3.1611  0.0316   1.0%  3.1188  3.1624   21,030   31,428
 HOc2   3.1669  0.0323   1.0%  3.1228  3.1683   61,590   52,346
                                                                                 
 TOTAL MARKET            VOLUME                 OPEN  INTEREST
              CURRENT    Apr 24   30D AVG     Apr 24  NET CHNG
 CRUDE        507,323   369,531   546,043  1,539,257    -1,645
 RBOB         160,015   153,944   180,670    345,907    -5,823
 HO           132,977   125,858   131,478    315,268     4,425
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