NewsCrude oil contracts incline this morning backed by manufacturing data
AnalysisCrude future contracts gained throughout Asian trading today, trading around $74 per barrel, supported by economic data that showed improvement in the manufacturing sector's performance in the US and Europe.

The US Manufacturing ISM showed a rise in January to 58.4; the highest incline since August 2004, adding to the recovery signs from the economy. The rise in manufacturing activity supported crude with rising demand projections as the recovery withholds the pace, especially after Friday’s surprisingly strong GDP figures from the U.S economy.

On the other hand, the improvement being witnessed was not only in the manufacturing sector in the US, but it extended to Europe; where European data showed clear improvement in the PMI in January in both the euro zone and UK, due to European factories increasing productions levels after improving global demand levels on European products.

The progress witnessed in the manufacturing sector plays a major role in supporting oil prices, as we need to see the positive data translate in terms of drop in consuming nation’s crude stockpiles; so that crude prices can surpass this critical stage.

As for the performance of giant oil companies throughout the last fourth quarter; EXXON Mobil (considered to be the largest oil company in the U.S) recorded the fifth consecutive drop in quarterly earnings by $6.05 billion; while Chevron followed and fell by 37% in quarterly earnings to $3.07 billion; whereas Britain’s BP recorded gains in quarterly earnings by $4.3 billion, compared to the losses it endured in the same time last year by $3.3 billion.

The S&P GSCI index closed yesterday at 493.23, after recording gains of 7.09 points; meanwhile, RJ/CRB commodity index followed and recorded gains by 2.39 points to close at 267.98.

As for NYMEX trading as of 02:44 EST; future contracts for heating oil surged to record $195.620 per gallon by $0.130, while motor gasoline traded around $597.000 per gallon to record $5.460 per 1000 cubic feet. In London, Brent future contracts rose by $0.090 to record $73.20.

Crude contracts opened today at $74.90 per barrel, recording its highest at $75.25 and lowest at $74.40 per barrel, where it is currently trading around $74.50 per barrel.