Brent settles up 4 percent, riding equities rally; U.S. crude down

Tue Sep 8, 2015 4:41pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude settled up 4 percent on Tuesday as strength in stock markets helped the global oil benchmark recoup the bulk of its losses from the previous session.

U.S. crude fell slightly in volatile trade, reopening from Monday's U.S. markets closure for the Labor Day holiday to news of refinery outages.

The divergence between Brent and U.S. crude could grow if weekly crude inventories cited on Wednesday by industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) turn out to be higher than expected by the market.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect U.S. crude stockpiles to have risen by 200,000 barrels for the week ended Sept. 4.

API's weekly inventory report, usually due on Tuesdays, will be issued on Wednesday this time due to Monday's Labor Day holiday. The official report on weekly stockpiles, due on Wednesdays from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, will be delayed till Thursday.

Brent rose early on Tuesday as European equity markets took off on bullish second-quarter euro zone growth and stellar German exports data. Gains in Brent accelerated in New York after the European equities rally extended to Wall Street.

London-traded Brent LCOc1 settled up $1.89 at $49.52 a barrel, and was at $49.50 by 4:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT) in post-settlement trade. It fell $1.98 in the previous session.

Offsetting some of the bullish sentiment in Brent was China's mixed data on crude imports for August. The data showed a 6 percent gain year-on-year and 10 percent rise for the first eight months, but a 13 percent slide from July.   Continued...

Oil rig pumpjacks, also known as thirsty birds, extract crude from the Wilmington Field oil deposits area where Tidelands Oil Production Company, which is owned by Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy), operates near Long Beach, California July 30, 2013. REUTERS/David McNew