Brent Near $108 Ahead Of Inventory Data
Brent crude oil was on the rise on Tuesday morning, trading at $107.98 at 9:00 GMT. The commodity was boosted by the ongoing geopolitical issues around the globe as well as expectations for a further draw in U.S. crude stockpiles.
American Petroleum Institute is set to release a report detailing U.S. oil inventories later on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, analysts expect the report to show that U.S. commercial crude stockpiles fell 2.8 billion barrels last week. On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration will release its more closely watched version of the same data.
Investors will also be watching for U.S. inflation and home sales data, both due out later in the day. Markets have been increasingly focused on U.S. data as they look for any sign that the U.S. Federal Reserve is planning to raise its interest rate sooner than expected.
Last week Fed chair Janet Yellen said the bank would consider an early rate hike if the economy improved faster than expected. If Tuesday’s inflation data beats forecasts, markets may begin to suspect that the rate hike is coming sooner than expected, which would drive Brent prices downward.
The situation in Ukraine remained a driver for crude prices as accusations that Russia is tied to the missiles that were used to shoot down a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane on Thursday continued.
So far, evidence has shown that the plane was shot down accidentally; but tension between Russia and the West has added some risk premium to oil prices. In Ukraine, the fighting continued as government forces moved toward Donetsk in a renewed push to free the eastern part of the country from pro-Russian separatists’ self-proclaimed rule.
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