Related Keywords: Energy
--Crude-oil prices hold along with broader markets
--U.S. manufacturing data due 10:00 a.m. EDT
--Crude stuck in tight range between $100 a barrel and $105/Bbl since beginning of April
By Jerry A. DiColo Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--U.S. crude futures traded nearly flat Tuesday, as investors waited for cues from equities and currency markets ahead of U.S. manufacturing data.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery recently traded 15 cents lower at $104.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded 51 cents lower at $118.96 a barrel.
Oil prices have looked to broader markets in recent days to gauge the threat of slowing economic growth in both the U.S. and Europe.
On Tuesday, stock market futures were relatively flat, as was the dollar against a basket of currencies.
Investors are looking ahead to the Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index, due at 10:00 a.m. EDT, for the latest reading on the health of the U.S. industrial sector, an important consumer of fuel products. Economists expect the PMI slipped to 52.9 in April from 53.4 in March, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey.
The sideways movement in the oil market comes as traders weigh threats of economic slowdown against the possibility that U.S.-traded oil prices could benefit from the impending reversal of a key oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast.
The Seaway Pipeline is expected to reverse course starting May 17 to send oil from the storage hub of Cushing, Okla., to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
A glut of oil stuck in the middle of the U.S. for the past year has depressed domestic oil prices compared to Europe's benchmark, Brent crude. Many traders and analysts expect the reversal, which is due to reach full capacity next year, will narrow the price spread. But few are sure when prices will close the gap.
"A lot of people are still sitting on their hands," said Carl Larry, head of oil-research newsletter Oil Outlooks and Opinions. "Everybody is going to start concentrating on that Seaway reversal."
U.S. traded crude has held in a tight range between $100 and $105 a barrel throughout April, after spiking to around $110 a barrel earlier in 2012 on worries about the growing tensions between Iran and the West.
Front-month June reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, recently traded 4.52 cents lower at $3.0794 a gallon. June heating oil recently traded 1.88 cents lower at $3.1654 a gallon.
-By Jerry A. DiColo, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2155; email@example.com.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 01, 2012 09:24 ET (13:24 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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