NYMEX-U.S. oil prices climb on falling stockpiles, demand hopes
SINGAPORE, Sept 5 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures rose in early Asian trade on Thursday, with the outlook for demand boosted by strong auto sales data and a surprise drop in stockpiles in the world's No.1 oil consumer.
U.S. oil had climbed 21 cents to $107.44 a barrel by 0036 GMT after settling $1.31 lower. Brent gained 10 cents to $115.01, after ending down 77 cents.
- U.S. President Barack Obama's effort to win legislative backing for military strikes against Syria passed its first hurdle on Wednesday when a Senate committee voted in favour, but the narrow margin of victory showed the depth of U.S. caution.
- U.S. Crude inventories fell by 4.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 30 to 362 million, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 1.3 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1.85 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (APP) said.
- The U.S. economy appears to be faring better in the third quarter than analysts had feared with automakers reporting surprisingly strong August sales on Wednesday, helping to buoy expectations of a pullback in monetary stimulus ahead.
- One top Federal Reserve official said on Wednesday he was open-minded about reducing stimulus this month, as investors largely expect the central bank to do, while another policymaker said the U.S. central bank should actually do more for the economy.
- Business activity across emerging economies edged back into expansionary territory in August, staying relatively subdued, though expectations rose to a five-month high, a survey showed on Thursday.
- U.S. stocks rose for a second day on Wednesday due to the strong auto sales and as possible military action in Syria was seen as limited.
* The following data is expected on Thursday:
- 1100 Britain BOE Bank Rate Sep
- 1145 EZ ECB refinancing rate Sep
- 1400 U.S. ISM N-Mfg PMI Dec
- 1400 U.S. ISM N-Mfg Bus Act Dec
- 1430 U.S. Nat gas-EIA, change bcf Weekly
- 1500 U.S. EIA weekly crude stocks Weekly
- 1500 U.S. EIA weekly dist. stocks Weekly
- 1500 U.S. EIA weekly gasoline stk Weekly
(Reporting by Manash Goswami; Editing by Joseph Radford)