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By Alison Sider Analysts expect government data scheduled for release Thursday to show that natural-gas stockpiles grew by less than average for this time of year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected to report that storage levels grew by 65.67 billion cubic feet of gas during the week ended Sept. 22, according to the average forecast of 12 analysts, brokers and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The EIA is scheduled to release its storage data for the week on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EDT. For the Sept. 22 week, the median estimate is for an increase of 65 bcf. Estimates ranged from an increase of 60 bcf to an increase of 73 bcf. The estimate for Sept. 22 compares with 49 bcf added to storage in the same week last year and a five-year average addition of 84 bcf for that week. If the storage estimate is correct, inventories as of Sept. 22 totaled 3.474 trillion cubic feet, 3.3% below levels from a year ago and 1.4% above the five-year average for the same week.

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By Eric Morath and Josh Mitchell WASHINGTON–The number of Americans applying for new unemployment benefits rose last week, at least partially reflecting job loss due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Initial jobless claims, which reflect nationwide layoffs, rose by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 272,000 in the week ended Sept. 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected 275,000 new claims. The storms affected the number of claims filed in Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Texas and the Virgin Island, the department said. Claims for Puerto Rico were estimated by officials in Washington because government offices on the island were closed. The four-week moving average of claims, which smoothes out often volatile weekly data, rose by 9,000 to 277,750, the highest level since February 2016. Evacuations and power outages may mean storm-related jobless claims are spread out over several weeks. Still, overall jobless claims remain historically low. Weekly claims have held below 300,000 each week since March 2015, the longest such streak since the early 1970s. The number of continuing unemployment benefit claims–those drawn by workers for more than a week–decreased by 45,000 to 1,934,000 in the week ended Sept. 16. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag. Prior to the storms, the U.S. labor market appeared extremely healthy. The unemployment rate in August was near a 16-year low and job creation has been steady this year. The Labor Department report on jobless claims can be accessed at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/current.htm. Write to Eric Morath at Eric.Morath@wsj.com and Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@wsj.com.

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Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. -1 to 935 rigs

U.S. Rig Count is down 1 rig from last week to 935, with oil rigs down 5 to 744, gas rigs up 4 to 190, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.

U.S. Rig Count is up 424 rigs from last year’s count of 511, with oil rigs up 326, gas rigs up 98, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.

The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is up 2 rigs from last week to 19 and down 1 rig year-over-year.

Baker Hughes Rig Count: Canada +8 to 220 rigs

Canada Rig Count is up 8 rigs from last week to 220, with oil rigs up 10 to 122 and gas rigs down 2 to 98.

Canada Rig Count is up 82 rigs from last year’s count of 138, with oil rigs up 45 and gas rigs up 37.

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Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration Wednesday showed (http://ir.eia.gov/wpsr/wpsrsummary.pdf) that domestic crude supplies climbed by 4.6 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 15. That’s above the forecast for a rise of 2.4 million barrels by analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. The American Petroleum Institute had reported late Tuesday an increase of 1.4 million barrels, according to sources. The EIA also reported that total domestic crude output rose by 157,000 barrels a day to 9.510 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles were down 2.1 million barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles fell 5.7 million barrels, according to the EIA. October crude , which expires at the day’s settlement, rose 52 cents, or 1.1%, to $50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded at $50.21 before the supply data (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crude-prices-rise-on-signs-of-drop-in-global-inventories-2017-09-20).

 

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By Alison Sider U.S. crude-oil stocks are expected to show an increase in data due Wednesday from the Department of Energy, according to a survey of analysts and traders by The Wall Street Journal. Estimates from nine analysts and traders surveyed showed that U.S. oil inventories are projected to have increased by 2.6 million barrels, on average, in the week ended Sept. 15. Eight analysts expect stockpiles to grow and one expects them to shrink. Forecasts range from a decrease of 2.8 million barrels to an increase of 5.7 million barrels. The closely watched survey from the Energy Information Administration is due at 10:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday. Gasoline stockpiles are expected to show a decrease of 2.1 million barrels on average, according to analysts. Eight expect them to fall and one expects them to rise. Estimates range from a decline of 3.6 million barrels to an increase of 1.7 million barrels. Stocks of distillates, which include heating oil and diesel, are expected to fall by 1.5 million barrels. Eight analysts expect a decrease and one expects an increase. Forecasts range from a decline of 3.1 million barrels to an increase of 1.5 million barrels. Refinery use is seen rising 7.2 percentage points to 84.9% of capacity, based on EIA data. Eight analysts expect an increase and one didn’t report expectations. Forecasts range from an increase of 2 percentage points to an increase of 11 percentage points. Write to Alison Sider at alison.sider@wsj.com

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Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. -8 to 936 rigs

U.S. Rig Count is down 8 rigs from last week to 936, with oil rigs down 7 to 749, gas rigs down 1 to 186, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.

U.S. Rig Count is up 430 rigs from last year’s count of 506, with oil rigs up 333, gas rigs up 97, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.

The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is up 1 rig from last week to 17 and down 3 rigs year-over-year.

Baker Hughes Rig Count: Canada +10 to 212 rigs

Canada Rig Count is up 10 rigs from last week to 212, with oil rigs up 10 to 112 and gas rigs unchanged at 100.

Canada Rig Count is up 80 rigs from last year’s count of 132, with oil rigs up 37, gas rigs up 44, and miscellaneous rigs down 1.

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By Marina Force The dollar continued to slide Friday, while global stocks mostly edged lower, amid ongoing jitters over geopolitical risks and extreme weather in the U.S. In stock markets, futures pointed to a 0.4% loss for both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, right after Wall Street closed slightly lower on Thursday. The Stoxx Europe 600 moved 0.1% lower in morning trade. Most Asian markets closed with modest declines. But the dollar remained the primary focus for investors Friday. The ICE Dollar Index sank to a fresh 33-month low, declining 0.5%. The dollar slid 1% against the yen Friday and 0.5% against the Swiss franc, another haven currency. Prices of gold, another typical haven asset, rose 0.7%. A variety of factors have pushed the dollar lower in recent months, such as geopolitical risks and lower expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this year, because of stubbornly low inflation and concerns about hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurting the economy. “In the U.S. we have had a downgrade of the expectations for a rise in interest rates for this year and next year,” said Azad Zangana, senior European economist at Schroders. “That has helped weakening the dollar in general.” Currently, investors see only a 27% chance of a rate rise by the end of the year, according to Fed fund futures tracked by CME Group. Back in June, a majority of Fed officials said they expected to raise rates again before year-end. Lower interest rates tend to depress a currency by pushing investors into other currencies that offer higher returns. In bond markets, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield, which moves inversely to the bond price, notched further declines Friday and edged down to 2.026%, according to Tradeweb. This is compared with Thursday’s close of 2.061%, the lowest level since Nov 8. Some investors think the recent decline in Treasury yield is overdone. “We do believe the rally in prices we are seeing will be short-lived,” said Mark Dowding, co-head of investment-grade debt at BlueBay Asset Management, who has increased his bets on Treasurys selling off. Rising geopolitical worries over North Korea’s missile tests have pushed investors to buy haven assets like Treasurys, but also currencies like the yen, further weakening the dollar. North Korea is gearing up for Saturday’s Foundation Day holiday–the occasion of a nuclear test last year. President Donald Trump refused to rule out military action against North Korea on Thursday, stating that a military confrontation is “something that certainly could happen.” The dollar is also being pushed down by a surge in its main trading partner, the euro, which is benefiting from a robust economic recovery in the eurozone. On Thursday, the European Central Bank upgraded the single-currency area’s growth forecasts, sending the euro up against the dollar by nearly 1% on and a further 0.3% on Friday, to $1.2093. Yet, because a stronger euro means cheaper imported goods, pushing down inflation, some investors believe the currency’s surge could eventually slow the pace at which the ECB starts to reduce its stimulus policies in the coming months. “Exchange rates around the current level of $1.21 certainly aren’t deviation enough to fundamentally change the ECB’s expectations,” said Lutz Karpowitz, analyst at German lender Commerzbank AG, in a note to his clients. “I estimate that this would only happen around $1.25 at the earliest,” but such levels are “unlikely to be particularly sustainable” unless eurozone inflation goes up faster than expected, he added. In European equity markets, banks provided a bright spot, with the sector’s shares up by 0.6%, paring some of last month losses. Stocks markets were mixed in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average closed down 0.6%, as Japanese electronics companies were hurt by the strong yen, which hit a 10-month high against the dollar overnight. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1% and the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.3% lower. Some other Asian markets recorded gains, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5%. In commodities, Brent crude oil rose 0.4% to $54.70 a barrel. Ese Erheriene contributed to this article

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09/01/17 08/25/17 CHANGE YEAR AGO (BCF) (BCF) (BCF) (BCF) REGION EAST 781 749 32 810 REGION MIDWEST 872 840 32 925 REGION MOUNTAIN 205 205 0 224 REGION PACIFIC 296 301 -5 313 REGION SOUTH CENTRAL 1066 1060 6 1161 SALT 266 262 4 281 NONSALT 800 797 3 880 TOTAL LOWER 48 U.S. 3220 3155 65 3432 5-YR AVG CURR WK DIFF FROM STOCKS(BCF) 5-YR AVG(%) REGION EAST 775 0.8 REGION MIDWEST 865 0.8 REGION MOUNTAIN 191 7.3 REGION PACIFIC 333 -11.1 REGION SOUTH CENTRAL 1040 2.5 SALT 253 5.1 NONSALT 786 1.8 TOTAL LOWER 48 U.S. 3205 0.5 RECAP PAGE 28837 NOTES AT http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/natural_gas/ngs/notes.html (END) Dow Jones Newswires September 07, 2017 10:30 ET (14:30 GMT) Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 20170907_DN_6384

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By Mike Bird and Kenan Machado — U.S. stocks open lower — European stocks up slightly, while shares in Japan, South Korea slip U.S. stocks opened lower Tuesday as investors weighed fresh threats from North Korea. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 97 points, or 0.4%, to 21891 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 declined 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.5%. Market reactions to the continuing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been relatively muted, but market strategists warn the latest salvo of threats increase global uncertainty. Selloffs last month were short lived, as robust company earnings and steady economic data helped both the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 to hit their fifth consecutive month of gains. “Positioning for a targeted attack on a major Asian or even U.S. city is a big call and one that markets are not yet remotely prepared to make in any serious way,” Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said. The U.S. told the United Nations that North Korea, which conducted its largest-ever nuclear test on Sunday, was “begging for war” and called for “the strongest possible measures” against Pyongyang. North Korea, meanwhile, appears to be preparing to test another intercontinental ballistic missile, South Korea said late Monday. “It seems the gravity (of the situation) has lifted to another level,” said David de Garis, a senior economist at National Australia Bank. “This situation doesn’t look like it is going to subside.” The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.110%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.157% on Friday. Beyond the U.S., stocks were mixed. The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.1% in recent trading, South Korea’s Kospi ended the day down 0.1% — despite a gain for index heavyweight Samsung Electronics. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average ended the day down 0.6% after a 0.9% fall on Monday, as buying of the yen, a traditional haven asset, accelerated during Asian trade. Write to Mike Bird at Mike.Bird@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

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