Crude oil futures stayed below $97 a barrel ahead of the US inventories data to be released today. Yesterday, it closed lower for a fifth session, as weakness in global markets in the wake of elections in Europe dented expectations for economic growth.
Also yesterday, the American Petroleum Institute reported that crude-oil supplies rose by 7.8 million barrels for the week ended May 4. Gasoline inventories fell by 4.96 million barrels and distillate stocks declined 2.7 million, the trade group said.
The API data come ahead of the more closely-watched U.S. Energy Information Administration report due Wednesday morning. Analysts polled by Platts expect to see a 2.2 million-barrel climb in crude-oil stocks. They also forecast a 600,000-barrel decline in gasoline stocks and unchanged inventories of distillates.
Last week, US department of energy (DoE) report released Wednesday showed crude reserves rose 2.8 million barrels in the week ending April 27, more than market expectations of a gain of 2.1 million barrels, suggesting ebbing demand.
Crude for June delivery is trading down 36 cents at $ 96.65 per barrel. Yesterday it fell 93 cents, or 1%, to settle at $97.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following a drop of 55 cents in the prior session. It touched an intraday low of $95.52.
A string of weekend elections in Europe — France, Germany and Greece — saw voters reject established leaders, with Socialist challenger François Hollande defeating incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy. And Greece is now locked in political turmoil after parliamentary elections left the country's parties struggling to form a government.
MCX May crude may open below Rs 5160 levels with support around Rs 5135 and Rs 5110 levels.
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