Monday, August 16, 2010

Crude Oil Rises From One-Month Low as U.S. Manufacturing May Have Expanded

Crude oil rose from a one-month low as traders increased bets that prices will rise and analysts predicted manufacturing in the U.S. may have expanded last month, spurring optimism over a recovery in fuel demand.

U.S. factory production and housing starts probably rose in July, economists said before reports this week. Speculative long positions, or bets prices will rise, increased 8 percent in the week ended Aug. 10, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“Open positions increasing to the long side could add a dollar or two over the coming days,” said Peter McGuire, managing director at CWA Global Markets Pty in Sydney.

Crude oil for September delivery rose as much as 39 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $75.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $75.68 a barrel at 7:33 a.m. in Singapore. The contract fell 0.5 percent on Aug. 13 to settle at $75.39, the lowest price since July 12. Futures fell 6.6 percent for the week, the most since the period ended July 2.

Oil declined last week as a lack of jobs prompted Americans to hold back on spending, according to Commerce Department figures. U.S. gasoline supplies also increased for the seventh week.

Brent crude oil for September settlement fell 41 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $75.11 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange on Aug. 13.