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Oil Rises for a Third Day Amid Low Volumes Yet Concerns Linger


By Elizabeth Low and Grant Smith

(Bloomberg) Oil rose for a third day in New York amid low trading volumes, recouping most of this week’s earlier losses, yet the outlook remained clouded by concerns over the economy and abundant supplies.West Texas Intermediate futures climbed as much as 1.2% with little news to drive the increase and trading volumes about 70% below average. Sentiment remained pessimistic, after China reported the slowest pace of economic growth since the early 1990s last quarter, and U.S. government data on Thursday showed that crude inventories expanded last week.

WTI is still set for a weekly loss, but only just

WTI for November delivery advanced 57 cents to $54.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 7:44 a.m. local time. It rose 1.1% on Thursday. This week’s loss has been trimmed to 0.4%.

Brent crude for December settlement gained 24 cents to $60.15 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe, paring its weekly drop to 0.6%. The global benchmark was at a premium of $5.57 to WTI for the same month.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 9.3 million barrels in the week through Oct. 11, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, surpassing analyst estimates of a 3 million-barrel increase. Yet gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.6 million barrels, the most since August, and distillate stores shrank by 3.8 million barrels.

“The inventory build was significantly more pronounced than expected,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt.

China’s gross domestic product figures trailed estimates and added to a deteriorating global demand outlook for crude. With a drop-off in exports to the U.S. expected to continue due to the trade war, the Chinese economy is likely to keep struggling as deflationary pressures hit company profits.

Other oil-market news
  • Saudi Aramco abruptly postponed the launch of the world’s largest initial public offering by at least a few weeks, according to people briefed on the situation.
  • A U.S. waiver on Venezuelan sanctions granted to an obscure oil refiner may bode well for Chevron Corp.’s request for a similar exemption.
  • Asian buyers of naphtha, a product used in plastics and gasoline production, are set to face a temporary fall in supplies from Europe as soaring freight rates make such shipments pricier.


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