Crude erased gains after rising for the first time in three days after a report showed U.S. retail sales declined in October for the first time in four months.
Futures rose as much as 0.7 percent before retreating. Retail sales in the U.S. fell in October for the first time in four months, influenced by the effects of superstorm Sandy. The 0.3 percent drop followed a 1.3 percent increase in September that was larger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. U.S. inventories probably climbed last week to the highest in more than three months, according to a Bloomberg survey before a government report tomorrow. U.S. equity futures rose.
Crude for December delivery climbed to a high of $86 a barrel before falling and was at $85.15 a barrel, down 23 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:50 a.m. local time. The contract declined 19 cents to $85.38 yesterday, the lowest close since Nov. 8. Prices have lost 14 percent this year.
Brent oil for December settlement, which expires tomorrow, was 11 cents lower at $108.15 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more actively traded January contract lost 18 cents to $107.16. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $23 to New York futures. The spread narrowed yesterday for the first time in three days to $22.88.