Oil Rises on Central Bank Stimulus Optimism

Oil advanced as optimism that central bank stimulus will revive the global economy pared crude’s biggest weekly decline in more than three months.

Futures rose 0.5 percent and stocks gained as a report said European officials will unveil a bailout plan for Spain. Crude climbed to an intraday high of $100.42 a barrel Sept. 14 on measures by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank to bolster economic growth.

“The pressures that pushed us to $100 are still in the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “There’s been a great deal of stimulus added.”

Crude oil for November delivery increased 47 cents to settle at $92.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first gain in five days. The October contract expired at $91.87 yesterday. The front-month price is down 6.2 percent this week, the biggest drop since June 1.

Brent oil for November settlement climbed $1.39, or 1.3 percent, to end the session at $111.42 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade’s premium to West Texas Intermediate traded in New York was at $18.53.

The Fed said on Sept. 13 that it would make additional purchases of debt in a third round of so-called quantitative easing. The central bank announced it will expand its holdings of long-term securities with open-ended purchases of $40 billion of mortgage debt a month and that it will probably hold the federal funds rate near zero “at least through mid-2015.”

ECB President Mario Draghi said Sept. 6 that the central bank was ready to buy unlimited quantities of short-dated government bonds of nations signed up to rescues.

European Bailout

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos is in talks with European Commission authorities to facilitate a new bailout program that will be presented Sept. 27, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified officials involved in the discussions. The plan will focus on structural measures sought by the EU and not on new taxes or spending cuts, the FT said.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.1 percent. The euro climbed as much as 0.6 percent to $1.3048. A stronger euro and weaker U.S. currency bolster the appeal of dollar-denominated raw materials as an investment.

“Oil is caught between the pull of excess supply over the next few months, and the push of quantitative easing and hopes for an improvement in growth from the various stimulative programs,” said Guy Wolf, a strategist at London-based commodities broker Marex Spectron Group Ltd. “We think it is likely to remain volatile for a while longer.”

Technical Support

New York crude has technical support after settling below the lower Bollinger Band at $92.55 a barrel the previous two days. The last time it closed below the band on June 21, oil gained 12 percent over the next eight trading sessions.

The oil market is sufficiently supplied and more crude is coming from Saudi Arabia, Canada and the U.S., the International Energy Agency’s executive director, Maria van der Hoeven, said yesterday in Madrid.

“It’s going to be difficult to sustain this rally,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “The balloon lost a lot of air earlier this week and the bulls are trying to see if they can do anything to revive it.”

Oil in New York may decline next week, according to the Bloomberg survey. Thirteen of 27 analysts, or 48 percent, forecast oil will drop through Sept. 28. Seven respondents predicted that futures will gain and seven said there will be little change in prices.

Futures decreased 3.5 percent on Sept. 19 after the Energy Department said U.S. crude supplies rose 8.53 million barrels last week, the biggest gain since March.

Fuel Demand

U.S. fuel demand in August dropped to the lowest level for the month in 15 years as weakness in the economy curbed consumption of diesel and gasoline, the American Petroleum Institute said. Total deliveries, a measure of use, dropped 4.3 percent to 18.6 million barrels a day last month from a year earlier, the industry-funded group said today in a report.

“I don’t think you have fresh bullish fundamental news,” Evans said. “The inventory build this week and API report for August aren’t bullish at all.”

Electronic trading volume on the Nymex was 375,364 contracts as of 3:17 p.m. Volume totaled 511,329 contracts yesterday, 5.8 percent lower than the average of the past three months. Open interest was 1.57 million.

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