Commodity Corner: Oil Rises on IEA Report, Stocks

The August oil futures contract rose in today's trading after the International Energy Agency (IEA) slightly raised its global energy demand estimates.   Oil futures climbed more than $2, settling at $77.15 per barrel after trading between $74.25 and $76.87.

Paris-based IEA reports that global oil demand for 2011 is expected to rise by 1.6% or 1.3 million b/d year-on-year to 87.8 million b/d. However, oil demand in China and other parts of the world is expected to slow next year. The IEA expects total Chinese oil demand to rise by just 4.8% next year to 9.56 million b/d compared with robust growth of 9.1% this year.
Oil futures also continue to follow the U.S. equities market, which rose higher today on news of better-than-expected corporate earnings from Alcoa. Traders have been looking to U.S. equities as a guide to market sentiment as oil continues to trade within the $70-$80 range and concerns still abound regarding the global economic recovery.
The Henry Hub natural gas future contract declined again in trading today, settling at $4.35 per thousand cubic feet after trading between $4.34 and $4.48. The ample amount of U.S. natural gas continues to depress prices, despite weather forecasts calling for scorching temperatures across the U.S. Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest over the next two weeks.
RBOB gasoline futures today settled at $2.08, up about five cents from Monday, after trading between $2.01 and $2.09.