Crude oil futures fall Rs 26 on weak global cues


Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 0.42 per cent to Dollars 57.38, while Brent crude, the European benchmark, fell 0.38 per cent to USD 62.62 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange today.

The West Texas Intermediate for January delivery decreased 1.66 US dollars to settle at 55.96 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery lost 1.64 dollars to close at 61.22 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Brent for February settlement added 41 cents to end the session at $62.86 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Crude inventories fell 5.6 million barrels (bbl) in the week to December 1, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 3.4 million bbl.

USA gasoline stocks rose by 6.8 million barrels and distillate inventories were up 1.7 million barrels, government data showed, both exceeding expectations in a Reuters poll.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil and internationally-favored Brent crude oil finished higher on Tuesday on speculation that the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly reports will show a drop in U.S. crude inventories.

The perception that the higher fuel stocks pointed to weak demand outweighed a drop in crude inventories by 5.5 million barrels to 451.8 million barrels, traders said.

This week's unexpectedly large build in gasoline inventories is likely to put downward pressure on oil prices. The S&P Global Platts survey forecast a supply rise of 2.7 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 1.5 million barrels for distillates.

Refiners "actually beat demand with [gasoline] production at a near record 9.758 million barrels a day, compared to daily demand of 8.895 million barrels a day last week", said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.

For WTI crude, the key zone to watch is $57.03 to $56.55.

USA crude production continued to edge higher, with total domestic output at about 9.7 million barrels a day last week, up 25,000 barrels a day, according to the EIA.