Crude oil futures declined on Wednesday, as traders looked ahead to the release of key U.S. weekly supply data while awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s monetary-policy meeting.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at USD97.51 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.7%.
New York-traded oil futures traded in a range between USD97.41 a barrel, the daily low and a session high of USD98.20 a barrel.
The December contract ended 0.49% lower on Tuesday to settle at USD98.20 a barrel.
Oil futures were likely to find support at USD95.95 a barrel, the low from October 24 and resistance at USD98.80 a barrel, the high from October 28.
Oil traders were awaiting data from the U.S. government on oil and fuel supplies later in the day to gauge the strength of demand from the world’s largest oil consumer.
The report was expected to show that U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose by 2.3 million barrels in the week ended October 25, while gasoline inventories were forecast to fall by 140,000 barrels.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. crude inventories increased by 5.9 million barrels last week, while gasoline stockpiles rose by 740,000 barrels.
U.S. crude prices have been on a downward trend in recent weeks amid concerns the recent U.S. government shutdown created a drag on economic growth and eroded demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
The Fed is scheduled to conclude its two-day policy-meeting later Wednesday, with market analysts expecting the central bank to keep its USD85 billion-a-month asset-purchase program on track in order to safeguard the faltering economic recovery.
Data released on Tuesday showed that U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a six-month low of 71.2 in October from a reading of 80.2 in September, as concerns over the U.S. government shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis weighed.
The U.S. was to release data on private sector payrolls later Wednesday, ahead of the U.S. employment report for October, due for release on November 8.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for December delivery dipped 0.2% to trade at USD108.80 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD11.29 a barrel. - investing.com