December crude oil prices registered a lower low during the initial morning hours, weighed down by weakness in global equity markets, strength in the US dollar and uncertainty over the US presidential election. Some traders noted a measure of caution following weaker than expected service sector growth in China. The crude oil supply situation seems more than ample, despite dislocations from Hurricane Sandy. The continued closure of two key New Jersey refineries is seen as a force limiting demand for crude oil in the Northeast region. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of October 30th showed non-commercial traders were net long 241,073 contracts, a decrease of 11,606. Non-commercial and nonreportable traders combined held a net long position of 251,146 contracts, for a decrease of 14,484 in their net long positioning. Money managers were also aggressive sellers during the report window, slashing their net long positions by 11%.

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