The Money's in Oil Refineries
Oil futures were moving lower Tuesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange, as comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke lifted the U.S. dollar. West Texas crude for July delivery was recently trading $1.40 lower at $126.36 a barrel, while Brent crude was down $1.29 at $126.73 a barrel. Reformulated gasoline was 3 cents lower at $3.39 a gallon, and heating oil was also down 3 cents at $3.71 a gallon. Near-term natural gas was gaining 30 cents at $12.27 per million British thermal units. A public affirmation of a strong dollar policy by Bernanke contributed to the slide in oil. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the greenback against a basket of global currencies, was recently up 0.49% at 73.30. Oil tends to fall in value when the greenback rises, because oil is exchanged in dollars in international markets.
Meanwhile, energy stocks were mixed. Chevron ( CVX - Get Report) was up 0.7% at $100.06, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A - Get Report) was 0.4% lower at $83.41 and Exxon Mobil ( XOM - Get Report) was gaining 0.3% at $88.11. Among oil service firms, Nabors Industries ( NBR - Get Report) was 2.1% higher at $42.95, Patterson-UTI ( PTEN - Get Report) was advancing 2.3% to $32.52 and Schlumberger ( SLB - Get Report) was gaining 0.7% to $100.92. The U.S. Oil ( USO - Get Report) exchange-traded fund, which closely tracks WTI contracts on the Nymex, was recently trading 0.8% lower at $102.26.