West Texas Intermediate crude trimmed its monthly advance after rising the most in a week. Brent slid in London.
Futures fell as much as 0.4 percent in New York. Crude supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the largest U.S. oil-storage hub, fell by 1.08 million barrels to 34.8 million last week, the lowest level in four months, Energy Information Administration data showed yesterday. Distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, increased for the first time in seven weeks.
“Despite the fact we saw a bit of a rally last night, crude is really still within the range of the last couple of days,” said Ric Spooner, a chief analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “There’s a chance we’ll see it lose a bit ground from here in the short term.”
WTI for April delivery dropped as much as 37 cents to $102.22 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $102.26 at 3:30 p.m. Singapore time. The contract climbed 76 cents to $102.59 yesterday, the biggest gain since Feb. 19. The volume of all futures traded was about 44 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 4.9 percent this month and 3.9 percent in 2014.
Brent for April settlement declined as much as 32 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $109.20 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $7.02 to WTI. The spread closed at $6.93 yesterday, compared with $8.91 at the end of January.
WTI is set for the second monthly advance in three months as winter storms bolstered heating demand in the U.S. and inventories shrank at Cushing. TransCanada Corp. began moving crude from the storage hub to Texas on the southern portion of its Keystone XL pipeline in January.
Stockpiles at Cushing, the delivery point for New York-traded futures, decreased 7.04 million barrels in the four weeks through Feb. 21 to 34.8 million, the lowest since Oct. 18, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.
Distillate inventories expanded by 338,000 barrels last week, compared with a median 1.25 million drop forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. Gasoline supplies fell by 2.81 million barrels to 230.6 million, the EIA data show.
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