Crude oil futures are trading slightly higher in the Asia session today however the gains may be limited on weak machinery orders from Japan and rise in the weekly oil inventories yesterday.
Japan's core machinery orders, seen as a leading indicator of capital spending — fell 7.1% in December compared to the year-ago period, a larger drop than the 5% expected by economists.
U.S. crude inventories rose 304,000 barrels in the week ended Feb. 3, according to data released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration unit of the U.S. Department of Energy. The slim build, compared with expectations of a rise of 2.7 million barrels, put crude oil stockpiles at 339.2 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles rose 1.629 million barrels, to 231.8 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report
Yesterday, China raised the retail prices for gasoline and diesel by 300 yuan ($47.53) per tonne. The benchmark retail price of gasoline is lifted by 0.22 yuan per liter and diesel by 0.26 yuan per liter, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Also in the data releases today, China's consumer prices rose at a faster-than-expected rate of 4.5% in January from the year-ago period which will disturb the monetary policy as China was also about to loosen interest rates following the turmoil in Europe. The January consumer price index trounced expectations of a 4.1% increase estimated by economists and followed a decline in the rate in the recent past.
NYMEX light sweet crude oil futures are trading up 1 cent at $ 98.69 per barrel. The $100 mark still remained a non accessible area. MCX February crude may start today's session near Rs 4880 levels with support around Rs 4810 levels.
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