Crude hits 2-month low ahead of US inventory data
November 12, 2015, 2:39 pm   

Oil prices fell to a more than two-month low on Thursday as traders awaited a government report on U.S. crude stockpiles and after a sharp fall the previous day.

Futures had earlier steadied as demand for gasoline and technical buying offset worries about a large global supply glut.

Brent crude futures were down 48 cents at $45.33 by 7:51 a.m. EDT (1251 GMT) following a 3.4 percent fall on Wednesday.

U.S. crude futures were at $42.49 a barrel, down 44 cents and near its lowest intraday level since Aug. 28.

The Energy Information Administration will release its weekly read on crude inventories at 11 a.m. Thursday, one day behind schedule due to the Veterans Day holiday.

Gasoline margins in Europe have tripled since mid-October as low prices boosted consumption.

Demand is also strong in the United States, where gasoline importers on the East Coast are losing a trans-Atlantic tug-of-war over European supplies, outbid by Nigerian buyers anxious to avoid a holiday shortage.

"There is strength across the gasoline complex, which is supportive, and there is technical support as we reached the bottom of a two-month range yesterday," said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

Brent is still down more than 3 percent this week after a 4.3 percent fall last week on worries about a global glut and little sign of significant cuts in production.

Sentiment has also been hit by a growing sense that Asia`s two biggest economies were slowing sharply after China`s factory output growth eased further.

The slowdown in China has pulled down the entire commodity sector, with products such as crude, copper, liquefied natural gas, coal, and iron ore down between 20 and 30 percent this year.

Adding to demand worries are fears that Japan`s economy may have fallen into recession and that emerging markets across the world are struggling with a debt mountain that threatens growth.




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