Crude prices fall ahead of inventories data
Crude oil prices dropped Tuesday even though consumer confidence was reported higher in the US in August as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index was at 53.5, up from 51 in July, which is still far below the reading of 90 which is considered to indicate a healthy economy.
A home price index also was higher, up by 1 percent in June from May, showing that the price of a house in the US has risen, but prices for homes are expected to drop through the end of the year.
October contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were down $1.61 to $73.09 per barrel at 1:30 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent Crude was lately down $1.36 to $75.24 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
The declines also came ahead of tomorrow’s US Energy Information Administration inventories figures, which are expected to show that crude oil stockpiles expanded by 1.9 million barrels last week, while distillates in storage are also expected to have grown but gasoline inventories are anticipated to have declined..
In addition, Hurricane Earl was reported heading for the US East coast rather than the oil production and refining areas in and around the Gulf of Mexico, reducing the chance that supplies could be interrupted by the storm.
Nymex September gasoline futures were down 4 cents to $1.89 per gallon and September heating oil futures fell 3 cents to $2 per gallon, but October natural gas futures added 2 cents to $3.83 per million British thermal units.
The retail price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States dropped slightly overnight to $2.677 per gallon on average nationally.
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