West Texas Intermediate dropped from the highest price in a week after an industry report showed crude stockpiles increased in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of oil.
Futures declined as much as 0.3 percent in New York. Crude inventories expanded by 5.92 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. An Energy Information Administration report today may show supplies rose by 2.75 million for a ninth week of gains, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.
“Supply does look like the major issue for West Texas and tonight’s data will be clearly watched,” said Michael McCarthy, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney who predicts investors may buy West Texas contracts at about $98.50 a barrel. “The supply picture is pointing to the potential for lower prices over the next week.”
WTI for April delivery, which expires tomorrow, slid as much as 34 cents to $99.36 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $99.44 at 11:09 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 1.7 percent to $99.70 yesterday, the most since March 3 and the highest close since March 11. The more-active May futures fell 39 cents to $98.49. The volume of all futures traded was about 63 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 1 percent this year.
Brent for May settlement climbed 55 cents to $106.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $7.91 to WTI for the same month.
WTI rose yesterday after Enterprise Products Partners LP said it would more than double the capacity of its Seaway pipeline that moves oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Houston as early as May. The hub is the delivery point for New York futures.
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