November crude oil prices trended higher throughout the overnight and initial morning hours, supported by prospects for more Chinese monetary support and modest uptick in Middle East tensions. The outside market tone is also showing signs of improvement from yesterday's action, with global equities higher and US dollar lower. Risk appetites garnered support on reports that the PBOC injected a record amount of funds into the market this week. Tensions regarding Iran's nuclear program provided an added measure of support to the crude oil market following Ahmadinejad's UN address that did little to calm relations with Israel. This topic could gain more traction today in front of Israel PM Netanyahu UN address. Another supportive feature for the crude oil market that was somewhat lost in yesterday's downdraft is EIA crude stocks data. EIA crude stocks fell 2.446 million barrels, which was quite different than expectations for a build. EIA crude stocks are 24.217 million barrels above year ago levels and 34.491 million barrels above the five year average. Behind the unexpected draw was a sharp decline in imports to the slowest rate since December 2011. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 7.595 million barrels per day compared to 9.848 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was down 1.5% to 87.4%, which compares to 87.8% last year and the five year average of 83.59%. The positive outside market tone offers the bull camp the early advantage and chance for a further rebound toward $91.80. However, the intermediate term trend points down, with resistance at $93.20.
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