|Previous||1.8 million barrels|
|Forecast||-0.9 million barrels|
|Analysis||Crude oil slumped on Wednesday below $76 a barrel after lower-than-expected U.S. growth data and disappointing API report and ahead of important U.S. data due today.|
Prices plummeted for the fourth day as the U.S. data released yesterday aroused skeptics with regard economic recovery in the world's largest crude consumer. However, investors will scrutinize today's reports to detect the strength of the recovery.
In addition, the American Petroleum Institute report showed that U.S. crude inventories inclined, providing evidence that demand is weak in the world's no.1 energy user. The report showed that oil inventories rose 3.35 million barrels; gasoline stockpiles increased 1.71 million barrels to 212.2 million; and distillates edged down 2.36 million to 166.9 million. Later on today, the EIA report may give confirmation to the API figures.
On the other hand, oil prices failed to rise like other commodities despite the dollar's plunge against majors for the third day which sent gold prices to a new fresh high above $1178 an ounce. The dollar index, which tracks the dollar movements against six major currencies, retreated to 75.75 compared with the opening at 75.07.
Concerning stock markets, U.S. shares declined yesterday as investors awaited stronger personal consumption data. On the contrary, Asian equities gained today as Australia raised its growth forecasts; Nikkei Index advanced 0.4% in today's closing.
Oil is currently traded at $75.82 recording a high of $77.77 and a low of $75.57, whereas the contract on Tuesday edged down $1.54 closing at $76.02, while recording a high of $77.80 per barrel and a low of $75.60 per barrel.