Oil rises before US crude inventories report

LONDON: Global oil prices climbed on Wednesday as dealers awaited the latest US stockpiles report for clues about demand in the world´s top crude consumer. Brent North Sea crude for October added 10 cents to $102.60 per barrel in late morning London deals.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery gained 24 cents to $94.10 a barrel.

Later on Wednesday, the US government´s Department of Energy will publish the official petroleum stockpiles report for the week to August 22. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expect crude oil reserves to have dropped by 900,000 barrels on average. Gasoline inventories are projected to have fallen by one million barrels and distillates, including heating oil and diesel, are estimated to have declined by 600,000 barrels.

A decline in US stockpiles typically indicates strong demand in the world´s biggest economy, supporting global prices.

Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said investors had also been buoyed by “a string of strong economic data in the US”. The Conference Board said on Tuesday that consumer confidence rose for a fourth straight month to its strongest level since February 2008. Also, durable goods orders surged in July to a new monthly record, according to the Commerce Department.