Oil Trades Near $44 as U.S. Election Sends Stocks, Dollar Higher

Oil traded near $44 a barrel in New York amid a broader market rally driven by speculation Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the U.S. election increased after the FBI said her handling of her e-mails wasn’t a crime.

Futures rose as much as 2.1 percent in New York following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report. The S&P 500 Index was set for its biggest gains since June and the dollar rose against its peers for the first time in seven sessions. Russia, the world’s biggest energy producer, is “on board” with an OPEC agreement to limit crude oil production to help re-balance the market, according to OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo.

“The U.S. election is front and center in all the markets,” said Chris Kettenmann, chief energy strategist at Macro Risk Advisors LLC in New York. “There was talk over the weekend of Russia agreeing to limit production in cooperation with OPEC, but we need to see a resolution from the Nov. 8 vote before the focus shifts to Nov. 30.”

Oil retreated below $45 a barrel following the failure of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree on output quotas for member countries on Oct. 28, which must happen before a deal can be finalized. OPEC pumped at a record rate in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rose 32 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $44.39 a barrel at 11:26 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slid 59 cents to $44.07 on Friday, the lowest close since Sept. 20. Prices fell 9.5 percent last week, the most in almost 10 months.

Election Focus

Brent for January settlement rose 4 cents to $45.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices declined 8.3 percent last week, the most since January. The global benchmark traded at an 68-cent premium to January WTI.

“The stock market is up on the increasing likelihood of a Hillary Clinton victory,” said Thomas Finlon, director of Energy Analytics Group LLC in Wellington, Florida. “This is also strengthening the dollar, which is weighing on commodities.”

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, rose as much as 0.5 percent. A stronger U.S. currency reduces the appeal of dollar-denominated raw materials as an investment.

A magnitude 5 earthquake struck near Cushing, Oklahoma, the nation’s largest crude-storage hub, prompting some pipeline operators to shut operations at the site as a precaution. Oklahoma’s oil and gas regulator reported that all pipelines under its jurisdiction were operating again after shutting down as a precaution because of the temblor, centered less than 2 miles west of Cushing.

Gasoline dropped to the lowest level in seven weeks after Colonial Pipeline Co. restarted the largest U.S. line for the fuel Sunday, six days after an explosion and fire in Alabama during planned work.

December gasoline futures fell 1.5 percent to $1.3579 a gallon after touching $1.3561, the lowest since Sept. 20. 

Copyright: Bloomberg