Oil focuses on inventories as fiscal cliff negotiations continue

Global equities continue to add value as shown in the EMI Global Equity Index table below. The EMI Index is now higher by 1.4% for the week resulting in the year to date gain moving into double digit levels for the first time since late March of this year. The Index is now showing a gain of 11.1% for 2012 with only the Chinese bourse still in negative territory but by just 1.7%. Germany remains on top of the leader board with its year to date gain crossing the 30% threshold while both Hong Kong and Japan are both above the 20% threshold level of 2012 gains. The global equity markets are not only building in a solution to the US fiscal cliff but they are sending a message that the global economy may be on the cusp of a year of higher quality and more sustained growth in 2013.

The API report was mixed but biased to the bullish side and not in directional sync with the range of expectations. Crude oil showed a much larger than expected draw compared to expectations for a more modest draw. Gasoline showed a larger than expected build in inventory while distillate fuel declined versus an expectation for a small build. The API reported a draw (of about 4.1 million barrels) in crude oil stocks versus an industry expectation for a modest draw as crude oil imports decreased while refinery run rates increased by 1.1%. The API reported a modest draw in distillate and a build in gasoline stocks.

The API report is bullish with many participants now looking at this morning's EIA inventory report with much more interest. The oil market is higher heading into the US trading session and ahead of the EIA oil inventory report at 10:30 AM today. The market is always cautious on trading on the API report and prefers to wait for the more widely watched EIA report due out this morning. The API reported a draw of about 4.1 million barrels of crude oil with PADD 2 stocks increasing by 1.7 million barrels while Cushing stock increased by 0.1 million barrels. On the week gasoline stocks increased by about 4.2 million barrels while distillate fuel stocks decreased by about 1.9 million barrels. 

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