Brent Settles Above $102 On Ukrainian Ceasefire
Brent crude oil settled above $102.00 after making moderate gains overnight. The commodity traded at $102.18 at 4:15 GMT as investors questioned the reliability of a ceasefire agreement in Ukraine and received mixed signals from U.S. data.
Shaky Ukrainian Peace
Though Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko appeared to have made an agreement on how to coordinate lasting peace in Ukraine, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk expressed his disapproval on Wednesday. Reuters reported that Yatseniuk said the peace plan was simply a way for Russia to deceive the world just as NATO prepares to discuss the matter.
Related Link: Brent Makes Modest Gains After Sliding On Tuesday
U.S. President Barack Obama also expressed mistrust in the Kremlin, saying that previous ceasefire agreements hadn’t been upheld because Russia refused to admit its role in the Ukrainian conflict. However, Poroshenko was optimistic, saying that upcoming negotiations on Friday could begin a period of lasting peace.
Busy Factories, Plenty Of Oil
Brent also found support from strong data out of the U.S -- factory activity surged because auto sales soared to their highest level in more than eight years. The Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing that new factory orders were up 10.5 percent in July, a huge jump from June’s 1.5 percent rise. The figures suggested that the nation’s oil appetite will remain healthy.
However, gains were mitigated by data from the American Petroleum Institute, which showed that U.S. stocks declined less than expected last week. The report indicated that U.S. crude inventories were down just 545,000 barrels and gasoline stocks rose by 362,000 barrels. Moving forward, investors will be looking to the Energy Information Administration’s version of the same report due out later on Thursday for confirmation of those figures.
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