August crude oil prices trended higher during the initial morning hours, helped by modest gains in global equity markets, weakness in the US dollar, and modest profit taking after yesterday's downdraft. Some traders indicated that the fundamental backdrop in the crude oil market is somewhat negative after data yesterday from China showed a larger than expected drop in oil imports and the EIA's monthly report lowered 2012 global oil demand. Perhaps yesterday's EIA downward revision was offset by data this morning from OPEC that left their 2012 global oil demand forecasts unchanged. Expectations for this morning's EIA inventory data are for a draw in the range of 1.25 million barrels.
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