October crude oil prices traded higher during the early morning hours, supported by weakness in the US dollar and renewed geopolitical concerns. It is also possible that the market drafted a measure of support on prospects that today's FOMC meeting decision could generate another round of quantitative easing. Growing tensions in the Middle East after the death of a US ambassador to Libya and three counterparts, as well as protestors storming the US Embassy Yemen has the potential to boost the risk-premium in the crude oil market. Yesterday's EIA data showed an unexpected build in weekly crude oil inventories of 1.994 million barrels. This brought EIA crude stocks to 12.708 million barrels above year ago levels and 29.695 million barrels above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 8.565 million barrels per day compared to 8.035 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was down up 1.4% to 84.7%, to its lowest level since April. This compared to 87.0% last year and the five year average of 85.70%.

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