June 17, 2009 / 5:17 PM / 10 years ago

NYMEX-Crude turns higher despite data, eyes options

 * EIA: crude supplies down, gasoline stocks up sharply
 * NYMEX July crude options to expire, eyes $70 strike
 NEW YORK, June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures
shifted to positive territory midday on Wednesday, after
falling on government data showing gasoline stocks surged last
week, overshadowing a larger-than-expected drawdown in crude
 Gasoline futures remained stuck in losses of nearly 2
percent while heating oil futures gained as data showed that
distillate stocks, which include heating oil and diesel fuel,
rose less than expected.
 Analysts noted that the expiration of the options on
front-month July futures at the session's close may have
allowed the contract to gravitate towards $70.
 "The $70 strike has decent open interest on puts and calls
so the market may hang around here," said Tom Bentz, analyst at
BNP Commodity Futures Inc in New York.
 At the same time, "there is a lot of good technical support
in between $70.13 and $69.53, so that, plus options expiration,
probably giving support," said Stephen Schork, editor of the
Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
 Meanwhile, the dollar stayed down while Wall Street turned
higher, both supportive for crude futures.
 Late Tuesday, the industry group American Petroleum
Institute said crude oil stocks fell 1.3 million barrels last
week, gasoline stocks rose 2.1 million barrels and distillate
supplies added 881,000 barrels. [API/S]
 * On the New York Mercantile Exchange, at 12:55 p.m EDT
(1655 GMT), July crude CLN9 was up 5 cents, or 0.07 percent,
at $70.52 a barrel, trading from $69 to $71.28.
 * Prices were down from last Thursday's $73.23 intraday
peak, the highest since Oct. 21, when crude hit $75.69.
 * In London, August Brent crude LCOQ9 was up 14 cents, or
0.2 percent, at $70.38 a barrel, trading $69.02 to $71.12.
 * NYMEX July RBOB RBN9 was down 3.81 cents,  or 1.84
percent, at $2.0330 a gallon, trading from $1.9920 to $2.0718,
the highest intraday since Oct. 7's $2.1399.
 * NYMEX July heating oil HON9 was up 2.59 cents, or 1.42
percent, at $1.8509 a gallon, trading from $1.8007 to $1.8555.
 * The July/July RBOB crack spread <0#RB-CL=R> was at
$14.87, after ending at $16.52 on Tuesday. The July/July
heating oil crack spread <0#CL-HO=R> was at $7.22, after ending
at $6.18 on Tuesday.
 * The spread between the current front month and the
five-year forward crude contract CLc61 was at $15, based on
the July 2014 contract Tuesday settlement at $85.52. The spread
ended at $15.05 on Tuesday.
 NYMEX crude 10-day/20-day moving average: $70.26/$67.40
 Technical support/resistance:
 NYMEX crude: $69.20/$72.70
 NYMEX heating oil: $1.80/$1.85
 NYMEX RBOB: $2.00/$2.10
 For a report on technicals click [ID:nLH1043955]
 * The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is
unlikely to agree to raise crude production any time soon,
despite a steep rally in oil prices since winter, Qatar's top
energy official, Abdullah al-Attiyah, said Wednesday.
 * The Energy Information Adnministration said that domestic
crude stocks fell 3.9 million barrels last week to 357.7
million barrels against the forecast for a 1.7 million barrel
decline in a Reuters poll. [EIA/S]
 * Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for oil
traded on the NYMEX were unchanged at 29 million barrels.
 * Gasoline stocks rose 3.4 million barrels to 205 million
barrels, defying the forecast for a 100,000 barrel drawdown.
 * Distillate stocks added 300,000 barrels to 150 million
barrels. The forecast was for an 800,000 barrel build.
 * Refinery utilization was unchanged at 85.9 percent of
capacity, matching the forecast in the Reuters poll.
 * Despite higher gasoline costs, U.S. consumer prices rose
slower than expected in May, data showed. [ID:nN17325125]
 * The dollar fell against the euro after release of the
consumer price index.[USD/]
 * The Nasdaq, the Dow and the S&P stock indexes were up
midday, recovering from earlier losses. [.N]
 (Reporting by Gene Ramos and Robert Gibbons; Editing by David

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