US crude futures dive $1.41/bbl on unexpected build in crude supplies

05 January 2012 21:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--NYMEX light sweet crude (WTI) for February delivery settled at $101.81/bbl on Thursday, down $1.41 versus the previous close, in response to the weekly supply statistics from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing a contrary-to-forecast build in crude inventories.

The EIA data also revealed a much greater-than-expected build in gasoline and distillate inventories, also pressuring prices on the NYMEX.

Crude prices had been rising in response to tensions between Iran and the West after the EU agreed, in principle, to ban imports of Iranian oil and Iran threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz.

In the currency markets, the euro fell against the dollar on worries regarding the European banking sector.

February crude topped out at $103.73/bbl before selling entered the market in an attempt to correct from overbought conditions. Downside momentum drove WTI down to $101.72/bbl before rebounding slightly ahead of the closing bell. During electronic trading afterwards, however, the front month continued to slide and hit a low of $101.54.

ICE Brent for January delivery bottomed out at $112.42/bbl before rebounding to settle at $112.74/bbl, down 96 cents.

By: Ignacio Sotolongo
+1 713 525 2653

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