Nymex Crude Gains as USD Slides

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"Now traders await today's EIA oil inventory data."

Crude futures ventured higher Thursday on continued weakness in the USD, as traders await weekly U.S. oil inventory data.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery recently traded 0.6%, higher at $83.50/barrel (bbl) on the NYMEX. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange traded $0.15 higher at $84.79/bbl.

The dollar was recently down against the other currencies, offering support to oil prices. A weaker USD makes oil cheaper for buyers in other currencies, and the euro's surge to the highest level against the dollar since January has helped keep crude futures above $80/bbl for more than a week.

The ICE dollar index was recently down 0.8%, while the euro rose 0.9% to $1.4081.

"It's a continuation of the uptrend with the weaker dollar and stronger equities supporting commodities," said Tom Bentz, a broker with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures.

He said a surprise draw in U.S. crude stockpiles in data released Wednesday from the American Petroleum Institute is also helping support prices. But most traders are waiting for the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report due 11 a.m. EDT Thursday for confirmation.

The API reported a surprise 4 draw in U.S. crude stockpiles for the week ended Oct. 8. Gasoline inventories fell by 1.9 million barrels (Mbbls.) and stocks of distillate, which include heating oil and diesel, fell by 250,000 barrels.

Analysts were expecting crude oil inventories to rise by 1.2 Mbbls., according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey. Gasoline inventories were seen falling by 1.4 Mbbls. and stocks of distillates were expected to fall by 1.5 Mbbls.

"A lot of people are still kind of reeling from the API numbers last night. It caught a lot of people off guard and we'll see if the EIA numbers bear that out," said Oil Outlooks and Opinions Analyst Carl Larry.

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