Oil traded near the lowest close in a week in New York as investors bet that demand will falter on signs of slowing U.S. fuel consumption and a worsening debt crisis in Europe.
Crude was at $84.26 a barrel up 3 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:39 p.m. Sydney time. The contract fell 1.6 percent yesterday to $84.23, the lowest close since Oct. 7. Prices are up 1.5 percent this week and 7.8 percent lower this year.
U.S. crude inventories climbed 1.34 million barrels last week and total products supplied, a measure of fuel use, slid an average 364,000 barrels a day to the lowest in four weeks, according to the Energy Department. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services cut Spain’s long-term sovereign credit rating on risks to growth prospects.