Oil steady above $98 ahead of U.S. report on crude stockpiles

The Associated Press 0

The price of oil was steady above US$98 a barrel Wednesday ahead of a report on U.S. crude stockpiles.

Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 5 cents to $98.46 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.17 to $98.51 on Tuesday, its highest level in six weeks, on optimism that the U.S. Energy Department’s report Wednesday would show supplies fell for the second week in a row.

Data for the week ending Dec. 6 is expected to show a draw of 2.8 million barrels in crude oil stocks and a draw of 2.1 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

Oil has fallen from $110 in September on high supplies, muted demand and a lessening of Middle East tensions. It sank to nearly $92 late last month but has since crept higher as the U.S. and Chinese economies show signs of sustained recovery.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was up 3 cents to $109.41 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was down 1.1 cent to $2.672 a gallon.

— Heating oil was flat at $3.017 a gallon

— Natural gas rose 1.2 cents to $4.249 per 1,000 cubic feet.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

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