The oil market is trading firmer during early Asian trading, with ICE Brent up more than 1.6% at the time of writing, as fears grow over the conflict between Israel and Hamas. This comes after the bombing of a hospital in Gaza, which killed hundreds of people. Hamas has blamed Israel for the bombing, while the Israelis have said it was militants. Either way, this does little to contain the conflict. Jordan was scheduled to hold a summit today with Arab leaders and President Joe Biden, however, this was canceled after the bombing.
The API numbers released overnight will also provide some support to the market. U.S. crude oil inventories fell 4.38 million barrels, significantly more than the roughly 500 million barrels the market expected. Cushing crude oil inventories also reportedly fell by around 1 million barrels, while for refined products, declines in inventories were also seen: gasoline stocks decreased by 1.58 million barrels and those of distillates decreased by 612 million barrels.
Turning to the gas market, Australian unions have called off a strike that was scheduled to begin on Thursday at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG facilities. This is after members agreed to the latest labor agreement with Chevron. A possible additional strike has been a persistent risk in the gas market, as these two facilities account for around 6% of global LNG supply.
As for today’s schedule, in addition to the usual weekly EIA inventory report, there will be a data dump from China, including third quarter GDP, September industrial production figures, and the second batch of September trade data . The consensus for GDP growth in the third quarter is 4.5% year-on-year.