Oil rallies on large U.S. drawdown, Fed speculation

Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:17pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped as much as 6 percent on Wednesday, after the largest U.S. crude drawdown in seven months at the key delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma fed a new round of market volatility.

Oil bulls were also encouraged by doubts on whether the Federal Reserve will decide to hike U.S. interest rates on Thursday after tame August inflation data.

Some speculators in oil had bet on a big U.S. draw since Monday, after market intelligence firm Genscape estimated a drawdown of 1.8 million barrels in Cushing.

Official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a total U.S. inventory drop of 2.1 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 11. The Cushing draw itself was 1.9 million, the largest since the week ended Aug. 28.

The draw numbers were bullish beyond average analysts' forecasts. A Reuters poll called for a total stockpile growth of 1.2 million barrels last week.

Even so, the EIA also cited an unexpected build of about 3 million barrels in gasoline and distillate stocks.

"The gasoline and distillates build completely negate the crude draw," said Donald Morton, energy trader for Herbert J. Sims & Co in Fairfield, Connecticut.

"A total stockpile of 153 million barrels for distillates is huge. It's the Fed's show from here on," Morton added.   Continued...

A customer holds a nozzle to fill up his tank in a gasoline station in Nice December 5, 2014.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard