By Jenny W. Hsu
Global crude futures gyrated in choppy Asia trade Wednesday morning, as early U.S. presidential election results appeared to show both main candidates neck and neck.
The result of the contest between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is expected to be called Wednesday Asia time, possibly by early afternoon.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at $45.21 a barrel at 0109 GMT, up $0.23 in the Globex electronic session. January Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $0.27 to $46.31 a barrel.
Action in commodities will be dictated by the U.S. election results, ANZ Research said.
Many analysts say a Clinton victory could see an initial celebration rally of 2% to 3% in global oil prices because her presidency would represent a continuation of existing U.S. foreign and trade polices, and there would be fewer surprises.
However, the buying spree may be short-lived, given Mrs. Clinton's vocal support for renewable energy.
"In the long run, a Clinton presidency could actually accelerate the takeover of crude oil by clean energy such as solar and others," said Nelson Wang, a CLSA energy analyst.
Oil prices are also being weighed down by the prospect that the world's crude supply is ballooning, despite pledges by major producers to cut production.
In late September, the 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a tentative pact to limit the group's output to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels a day. The pact is scheduled to be ratified on Nov. 30 at OPEC's next meeting in Vienna.
According to S&P Global Platts, OPEC has ramped up production to record levels beyond 33.5 million barrels a day.
Moreover, since the September meeting, contention among OPEC members has risen as some producer nations asked to be exempt from the deal. Iraq said it deserves to pump at will as it needs to fund its continuing war against Islamic State.
Russia, the world's largest energy producer and a non-OPEC player, has added about 500,000 barrels a day of output in the last two months, according to investment bank Simmons & Co. Intl.
It isn't clear whether Russia would join OPEC's production cut. Market watchers say without Russia's commitment to cut or freeze production, OPEC members would be less inclined to scale back their own.
The rise in global crude production has been pummeling U.S. oil prices, which are down more than 14% in less than three weeks.
Adding to jitters is the continuous growth in U.S. domestic crude stockpiles. According to data from the American Petroleum Institute, U.S. crude stocks grew by 4.4 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 4, extending the uptrend from last week's 14.4 million-barrel expansion.
API data also tip a 3.6-million-barrel decrease in gasoline stocks and a 4.3-million-barrel decline in distillate inventories, according to a market participant.
"In the near term, oil prices will still be mainly driven by rhetoric from OPEC members and the fundamentals of the world's oil supply," said Vyanne Lai, an analyst at National Australia Bank.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for December -- the benchmark gasoline contract -- rose 86 points to $1.3778 a gallon, while December diesel traded at $1.4495, 84 points higher.
ICE gasoil for November changed hands at $421.00 a metric ton, up $1.25 from Tuesday's settlement.
Write to Jenny W. Hsu at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 08, 2016 21:33 ET (02:33 GMT)
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