Oil prices climb ahead of U.S. inventories data

NEW YORK. July 24. KAZINFORM Oil prices rose slightly Tuesday as the market awaited U.S. crude supplies data of last week. U.S. crude stockpiles data are due Wednesday. Inventories may have decreased for a fourth week, the longest stretch of declines since August.

Market expected that American crude supplies would slip by 2.7 million barrels to 364.3 million last week, the lowest level since January.

The market also gained support from stock market in China which sent the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rising nearly 2 percent Tuesday.

On the economic front, U.S. house price appreciation continued in May, rising 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, marking the 16th consecutive monthly price increase, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency monthly House Price Index (HPI) report.

U.S. manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region declined in July, according to the most recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. However, looking six months ahead, manufacturers were optimistic about business.

Traders believed that U.S. central bank may begin tightening its policy soon. Last week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeated that the central bank may start to moderate the monthly pace of purchases later this year, but emphasized that the asset purchases depend on economic and financial developments.

Light, sweet crude for August delivery gained 32 cents, to settle at 107.23 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent for September delivery went up 27 cents, to close at 108. 42 dollars a barrel.

Source: XINHUA

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