Oil prices hit a six-week high on Tuesday on concerns that another storm could affect output in Texas this week even as the U.S. industry struggles to return to normal production levels after Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast.
Oil prices rallied for a third straight day, with Brent crude hitting the highest since Aug. 2 earlier in the session.
Brent crude was up 40 cents, or 0.5%, at $73.91 a barrel at 0444 GTM, having risen as high as $74.08 earlier.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude also climbed 45 cents, or 0.6%, to $70.90 a barrel, having risen as far as $71.05 earlier — its highest since Aug. 3.
Brent gained 0.8% while WTI rose 1.1% on Monday.
Evacuations were underway on Monday from offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil platforms as onshore oil refiners began preparing for Tropical Storm Nicholas, which was heading towards the Texas coast with 70 miles per hour(113 kph) winds, threatening coastal Texas and Louisiana still recovering from Hurricane Ida.
Gold was down on Tuesday morning in Asia ahead of U.S. inflation data that could hint at when the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin asset tapering.
Gold futures inched down 0.09% to $1,792.85 by 12:07 AM ET (4:07 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, inched down on Tuesday after climbing to a two-week high on Monday.
The yellow metal is trading below the $1,800 mark as investors weigh risks from the COVID-19 Delta variant and elevated inflation.
Investors now await U.S. consumer price index (CPI) data, due later in the day. If the number is higher than expected, expectations for when the Fed could start asset tapering could shift to November from December, according to Oanda Corp. senior market analyst Edward Moya.
“Gold prices are steadying as investors await the August inflation report, which could deliver some signs that inflation is transient. The Delta variant shock to supply chains will likely show some positioning for an upside surprise” for the CPI data, which could send gold lower, Moya said in a note.
The dollar was little changed against other major currencies on Tuesday as investors looked to U.S. inflation data later in the session for clues on the timing of policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.
The dollar index stood at 92.596 , having retreated from a two-week high of 92.887 hit on Monday while the euro changed hands at $1.1815 , having bounced back from Monday’s low of $1.17705, its lowest since Aug. 27.
Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next policy review on Sept 21-22, investors are closely looking at U.S. consumer price data due at 1230 GMT.
Economists expect core CPI, an index which strips out volatile energy and food prices, to have risen 0.3% in August from July. Its annual inflation is seen easing slightly to 4.2% from 4.3% in July.
Overall consumer price inflation is expected to dip slightly to 5.3% from 5.4% in July.
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