Brent crude futures fell during Asian trading as attention centred on US crude stock data. A Bloomberg survey pointed towards a US crude stock gain of 2.2 million barrels last week. Last week traders were caught out by a 7.1 million barrel rise in crude inventories, three times larger than expected. Increased stocks provide further evidence that the US consumer may be baulking at further gasoline price increases. A rise in oil prices doesn’t seem to have affected US manufacturers yet though. Crude futures rose yesterday after the ISM PMI suggested manufacturing activity in March was stronger than expected.
Cotton futures continued to edge down overnight as the bearish data from the USDA Prospective Planting report weighed on the market. In response to the release, Goldman Sachs lowered its 12-month average cotton price forecast to US0.75 per lb.