West Texas Intermediate dropped from a six-week high amid speculation that crude inventories increased in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Futures declined as much as 0.5 percent in New York. Crude stockpiles probably expanded by 1.5 million barrels last week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow. Output from Libya, the OPEC nation with Africa’s biggest oil reserves, is at 200,000 barrels a day, a spokesman for the state-run National Oil Corp. said.
WTI for May delivery slid as much as 54 cents to $103.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $103.53 at 9:03 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 0.3 percent to $104.05 yesterday, the highest close since March 3. The volume of all futures traded was about 78 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 5.2 percent this year.
Brent for May settlement, which expires today, advanced $1.74, or 1.6 percent, to $109.07 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The more-active June contract rose $1.67 to $109.07 a barrel. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $5.02 to WTI.
U.S. gasoline stockpiles shrank by 1.75 million barrels last week, according to the Bloomberg survey before figures from the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to release separate inventory data today.
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