Crude oil retreats after rallying for 2 days as oil inventory builds estimated by API triggers worries about demand outlook. The report by the US Energy Department later today is closely watched. Moreover, release of British Yachtsmen by Iran also temporarily relieved concerns about political tensions. The benchmark contract falls to 77.56 after Tuesday's close of 78.37.

According to API inventories rose across the board in the week ended November 27. Crude inventory gained +2.9 mmb to 339 mmb. Gasoline stockpiles soared +3.4 mmb while distillate stockpile increased +1.1 mmb. The report is bearish as there does not seem to have much improvement in demand, especially in distillate.

In Iran, 5 British yachtsmen detained in Iran were released today as the Iranian government made it clear that the yachtsmen had entered Iranian waters by mistake. They were freed after making 'necessary commitments'.

While both US demand and political tensions fail to support energy prices in the near-term, robustness in emerging markets should be the only forces to keep price above 75.

Gold price, however, continue to advance and is currently trading at 1213 in European morning. The benchmark contract has been rallying for 3 consecutive days. Apart from weakness in USD, the yellow metal was buoyed by Barrick Gold's announcement that it has completely eliminated the remaining outstanding hedges on its books. In September, this world's largest gold producer said that it was eliminating fixed-price contracts so as to fully benefit from gold's strength. The de-hedging revealed the producer's bullish view on gold and is supportive for price in the near- term.

The economic calendar today is relatively light. In Europe, UK's construction PMI improved to 47 in November from 46.2 a month ago. Contraction in the Eurozone's PPI moderated to -6.7% yoy in October from -7.7% in the previous month. On monthly basis, the reading rose +0.2% after declining -0.4% in September.

In US session, Challenger and ADP will report surveyed results on November's job condition. These can be used as guidance on the official employment report to be released Friday.