Commodities: Crude trickles lower as gasoline surges
Fri 21 Sep 2012
LONDON (SHARECAST) - Crude oil futures settled a touch lower on Thursday, following this week's dramatic sell-off, while gasoline futures rushed higher on concern about shortages.
Crude for October delivery, which expired at the end of floor trading, settled down 11 cents or 0.1% lower at $91.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have plunged over 7% in the last four days.
Earlier in Thursday's session, oil prices recovered from a steeper loss after investors cheered the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing index for September, which rose to minus 1.9 from minus 7.1 in August as business contracts at a slower rate. Of note was the new orders sub-index, which rose to 1 from -5.5, a four month high.
In a separate report the US Labor Department said first-time jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 382,000 in the week ended September 15th. Most economists were expecting a lower figure of around 375,000.
Meanwhile gasoline futures rallied almost 3% after reports of a refinery fire in Venezuela sparked concern about supply shortages. Gasoline for October settled 8 cents or 2.7% higher at $2.9040 a gallon.
Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange settled $1.84, or 1.7%, higher at $110.03.
Lacklustre Chinese manufacturing data kept the market jittery after initial data from HSBC showed Chinese manufacturing shrunk in September for the 11th consecutive month.
Gold futures traded in the red on Thursday, after a choppy session, while silver shrugged off the weak trend.
Gold for December delivery lost $1.50 or 0.1% to settle at $1,770.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Silver for December delivery added 9 cents or 0.3 to $34.68 an ounce while October platinum tumbled $16.50 to $1,623.90 an ounce.