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Oil Rises From One-Week Low on Economic Recovery Signs

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Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate rose from its lowest closing level in a week in New York. Crude inventories probably increased for a third week, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Futures advanced as much as 0.9 percent after their biggest loss in two months yesterday. U.S. crude stockpiles probably increased for a third week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before Energy Information Administration data tomorrow. WTI’s discount to the European benchmark, Brent, is at its widest this year. The euro strengthened as much as 0.4 percent to $1.3569 against the greenback, making dollar-priced commodities cheaper.

“Oil is getting some support from the recovery in the euro,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, who estimates that gains have been excessive. “Oil fundamentals point to a significant retracement.”

Crude for March delivery gained as much as 90 cents to $97.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $96.81 at 1:51 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 3.8 percent above the 100-day average. The contract slid $1.60 yesterday to $96.17, the lowest close since Jan. 25 and the biggest decrease since Dec. 6.

Brent for March settlement advanced 98 cents to $116.58 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 37 percent above the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $19.81 to WTI futures, compared with $19.43 yesterday.

U.S. crude stockpiles probably rose 2.5 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate of seven analysts in the Bloomberg survey. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to release separate inventory data today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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