U.S. Crude Jumps on Libya, Mideast Turmoil

Source: Reuters 3/2/2011, Location: North America

U.S. crude oil futures prices rose sharply as fighting in Libya continued and concerns about unrest in North Africa and the Middle East continued.

Crude got a boost from better-than-expected private employer jobs report and also the supportive oil inventory data from industry that was released late on Tuesday.

Brokers and traders also said that U.S. crude much stronger performance than Brent crude on Wednesday could be related to an unwinding of the large Brent premium to its U.S. counterpart CL-LCO1=R after last week's record $16.91.

The industry group the American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.1 million barrels, gasoline stocks dropped by 4.7 million barrels and distillate stocks fell 1.4 million barrels.

The draw in crude stocks went against Reuters analyst survey that yielded a forecast for a 700,000 barrel build and was aided by a drop in U.S. crude imports of 589,000 barrels per day.

Expectations were for gasoline stocks to be down 400,000 barrels and distillate stocks to be down 1.2 million barrels.


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