Crude oil futures came under pressure in early trade as the official data from the US showed an increase in crude oil inventories in that country.

At 10 am on Thursday, January Brent oil futures were at $92.63, down by 0.02 per cent, and December crude oil futures on WTI were at $85.78, down by 0.06 per cent.

November crude oil futures were trading at ₹7,022 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) in the initial trade against the previous close of ₹7,064, down by 0.59 per cent, and December futures were trading at ₹7,008 as against the previous close of ₹7,051, down by 0.61 per cent.

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According to the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) data for the week ending November 4, commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the strategic petroleum reserve) increased by 3.9 million barrels from the previous week. At 440.8 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 3 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.

Market reports said the increase in the crude oil inventories was more than the expectations of the market indicating weak demand for the commodity. There was an inventory decline of around 3.1 million barrels during the previous week.

US crude oil imports averaged 6.5 million barrels a day last week, an increase of 249,000 barrels a day from the previous week. Over the past four weeks, crude oil imports averaged about 6.2 million barrels a day, 1.6 per cent more than the same four-week period last year.

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The market is waiting for the US CPI inflation data. Market reports noted that a strong inflation number could force US Fed Reserve to increase the interest rate again. Such a move may prove negative for crude oil prices.

Meanwhile, an increased number of Covid cases in China is also impacting crude oil prices as it is a major oil consumer in the global market.

According to reports, China’s manufacturing hub Guangzhou recorded more than 2,000 Covid cases on November 9. Residents of the region, which is reportedly under lockdown, were told to get tested for the disease. Such lockdowns in the past have made a severe impact on the Chinese economy.

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Turmeric gleams, jeera fades

November aluminium futures were trading at ₹203.80 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹201.70, up by 1.04 per cent.

On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), November turmeric (farmer polished) contracts were trading at ₹7,480 in initial trades against the previous close of ₹7,440, up by 0.54 per cent.

November jeera futures were trading at ₹24,650 on NCDEX against the previous close of ₹24,865, down by 0.86 per cent.

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