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Oil falls ahead of US inventories data

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Brent crude was on the rise today, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark in the US dropped amid expectations of an increase in US crude inventories.

US crude futures were hit by yesterday’s report from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which showed an unexpected gain of nearly 2.8 million barrels in America’s crude stocks.

Later today, the Department of Energy will release official inventories data for the week to August 10. A survey by Bloomberg News forecast a decline of 1.5 million barrels following a massive drop of 3.7 million barrels.  

Also weighing on oil prices was yesterday’s note from Goldman Sachs, which said it was unlikely that the Federal Reserve would launch a third round of quantitative easing in September, noting that July retail sales data was ahead of expectations.

Chief economist at Goldman Jan Hatzius added that he expected the ongoing recovery to pick up in the coming months.

While US oil futures fell, Bret was on the rise today thanks to support from expectations of a decline in oil supplies from the North Sea.

Oil futures also were bolstered by a 0.6 percent increase in US industrial production in July reported by the Federal Reserve today. In other news, the consumer price inflation rate was flat in July compared with the previous month, giving the Federal Reserve room for further stimulus. 

US light, sweet crude for September delivery, currently the most actively traded contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), fell 44 cents to US$92.99/barrel this afternoon.

September Brent crude rose 26 cents to US$114.29/barrel on the ICE Exchange.

Today’s top risers in the oil and gas sector were:

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (LON:NTOG), up 26 percent at 0.549 pence at midday

Kea Petroleum (LON:KEA), up 12.5 percent at 9.15 pence

Sirius Petroleum (LON:SRSP), up 9.5 percent at 4.25 pence

Salamander Energy (LON:SMDR), up 5.5 percent at 213 pence

Ascent Resources (LON:AST), up 5.5 percent at 1.88 pence

PetroNeft Resources (LON:PTR), up 4.5 percent at 7.18 pence

The top fallers were:

Frontera Resources (LON:FRR), down 6.5 percent at 0.435 pence at midday

Bankers Petroleum (LON:BNK), down 5.5 percent at 179 pence

Bahamas Petroleum (LON:BPC), down 5 percent at 7.36 pence

Matra Petroleum (LON:MTA), down 4.5 percent at 1.76 pence

Mediterranean Oil & Gas (LON:MOG), down 4 percent at 11.72 pence

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