Futures Movers: Oil buoyed by drawdown in product inventories

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Oil futures traded higher Friday, but remained on track for a weekly loss, with support tied to a fall in U.S. product inventories despite a large jump in crude stocks.

West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery CLX19, +1.13%  rose 59 cents, or 1.1%, to $54.52 a barrel, leaving the U.S. benchmark on track for a 0.4% weekly decline. The global benchmark, as measured by December Brent crude BRNZ19, +0.52%, was up 22 cents, or 0.4%, at $60.15 a barrel, off 0.7% for the week.

“Significantly lower U.S. product stocks played their part in the price rise, while the solid increase in crude oil stocks was ignored,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.

Crude futures were building on gains scored the previous session despite the Energy Information Administration reporting a larger-than-expected rise in crude stocks last week of 9.3 million barrels, though a fall in refinery activity led to a strong draw on gasoline and distillate inventories, which fell 2.6 million barrels and 3.8 million barrels, respectively.

Meanwhile, U.S. data showed China’s crude-oil processing activity surged 9.4% year-over-year in September to a record 13.75 million barrels a day, Fritsch noted, up 1 million barrels a day from August.

Oil gains also came despite data showing slower-than-expected growth by China’s economy. Gross domestic product expanded at a 6% pace in the third quarter, the slowest in 27 years.

November gasoline RBX19, +0.63%  was up 0.6% at $1.6317 a gallon, while November heating HOX19, +0.63%  rose 0.5% to $1.9587 a gallon.

November natural-gas futures NGX19, -0.47%  edged down 0.1% at $2.314 per million British thermal units.

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