Oil rises ahead of the release of US indicators
APBANGKOK--Oil prices were higher Wednesday ahead of the release of more U.S. economic indicators and the conclusion of a meeting of U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers.
January 31, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Benchmark oil for March delivery was up 12 cents to US$97.69 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose US$1.13, or 1.2 percent, to close at US$97.57 on Tuesday after being pushed higher by a report about rising U.S. home prices. Energy prices can rise when investors feel good about the economy, since it's needed to power manufacturing and other economic activity.
But traders became slightly more cautious ahead of the release of other U.S. economic indicators, including economic growth on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims Thursday. In addition, the Federal Reserve will conclude a two-day meeting later Wednesday with the release of a statement that investors will study for clues about the outlook for the economy and interest rates.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 19 cents to US$114.55 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.1 cent to US$2.975 per gallon.
— Natural gas rose 2.7 cents to US$3.285 per 1,000 cubic feet.