Oil Prices Recover as Hurricane Sandy Approaches Northeast US

on October 26 2012 3:50 AM

Commodity prices recovered after days of losses. Crude oil prices gained modestly after news reported that Hurricane Sandy headed for the US after impacting Cuba and UK’s GDP turned out better than expected. Meanwhile, sentiment was also lifted as US’ initial jobless claim fell more than consensus, signaling improvement in the employment market. The front-month contract for WTI crude oil added +0.37% while the equivalent Brent crude contract climbed +0.59%. Gold also rebounded despite slippage of the euro with the benchmark Comex contract gaining +0.67%.

The US East Coast is threatened by Hurricane Sandy which already killed 21 people across the Caribbean. Meteorologist said that the hurricane would probably grow into a "Frankenstorm" and give the Northeast US the worst hit in 100 years. The market worried that the storm might strengthen further and hurt supply of the gasoline and distillate market. Yet, this might not be able to support for too long as Wednesday’s report showed that oil inventories remained abundant.

In the UK, GDP surprisingly rose +1.0% q/q in 3Q12, following a -0.4% contraction a quarter ago. This was higher than the market forecast of a modest gain of +0.6% and marked the strongest gain since the financial crisis in 2007. In the Eurozone, ECB reported that lending to the private sector fell -0.8% from the same period a year ago. This was the 5th consecutive decline and the steepest since October 2009. As the economy is expected to remain weak for the rest of the year, lending growth is expected to contract further.

In the US, initial jobless claims fell -23K to 369K in the week ended October 20. The 4-week average, however, climbed +2K to 368K as the data in the previous week was revised by +4K to 392K. Continuous claims slipped -2K in the week ended October 13. Durable goods orders soared +9.9% in September, following a -13.2% contraction a month ago. Excluding transportation, the reading gained +2% in September after slipping -1.6% in the prior month. The US GDP probably gained +1.8% in 3Q12, up from +1.3% gain in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan confidence data might be revised down to 83 in October from the flash reading of 83.1.

Oil and Gold Reports contributed by Oil N' Gold

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