Crude Oil and Natural Gas supported by hurricanes

By FX Empire Analyst - Barry Norman
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Today crude oil prices are holding above $93.5/bbl. with a marginal gain in early trading.

 From the fundamental prospective a decline in crude oil inventory along with other petroleum stocks might continue to support the trend. The US National Hurricane center is saying that the 2012 hurricane season is active with presence of more than two tropical storms in Gulf Coast region. Worries over supply disturbances may add positive point in oil prices.

This morning the Asian equities market has reacted positively to the inflation data released from China, which indicates inflation is cooling down in a slower pace. Speculation of monetary easing in China is still there as a lower rate in inflation was reported from the last month. Allowing for expectation of monetary easing by the second largest oil consumer of the world may keep oil prices on higher side

A drop in the Australian unemployment rate in the last month is also reflecting some optimism in the market. Traders had been eagerly awaiting news from the Bank of Japan. This morning the BoJ held the  key lending rate unchanged at 0.10 percent and the board refrained from providing stimulus at the present moment which might shore up the JPY. This would therefore be keeping the dollar under stress and hence oil futures prices might be supported.

The market is eyeing the US trade deficit data due later, which is likely to contract further in July, and which may be due to lower imports. Unemployment claims for the last week are also expected to increase and may weigh on oil prices later today. The price is looking towards the upside today and we may see crude trading in the mid 94 range.

Gas prices are trading at $2.914 MMBTU with a marginal loss of 0.20 percent in electronic trading. The US Energy Administration expects natural gas storage to increase 30 BCF, higher than prior week; this will have negative impact on gas prices. The presence two tropical cyclone in Gulf Coast region could help hold up prices. Concern of supply disturbances may add positive point in gas prices.

From the economic arena, rising imports of LNG by third largest energy consumer Japan may support gas prices to remain on higher side, ahead of gas inventory data releases later today.

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