WTI Oil Climbs as U.S. Motor-Fuel Supplies Seen LowerRupert Rowling
West Texas Intermediate crude rose for the fourth time in five trading sessions before a report that may show motor-fuel inventories shrank to a two-year low in the U.S., the biggest oil consumer. Brent advanced in London.
December futures increased as much as 0.6 percent in New York, adding to a 0.7 percent rise yesterday. Gasoline stockpiles probably fell by 1.45 million barrels to 204.2 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before data from the Energy Information Administration today. That would be the lowest since November 2012. Inventories of the fuel slid by 500,000 barrels through Oct. 17, the American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday, according to Bain Energy.
Oil is paring its collapse into a bear market as banks including BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp. predict the rout may be over. They’re in part counting on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce supply as the U.S. pumps the most oil in almost three decades.
“Crude appears to be building up a bit of a base for a rebound at the moment,” Michael Hewson, London-based market analyst at CMC Markets Plc, said by e-mail. “Any upside is likely to remain limited until such times as we get further guidance from OPEC as to what they intend to do about the excess supply.”
WTI for December delivery was at $82.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 18 cents, at 1:44 p.m. London time. The November contract expired yesterday after rising 10 cents to $82.81. The volume of all futures traded was about 27 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Front-month prices have decreased 16 percent this year.
Brent for December settlement was up 28 cents at $86.50 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $3.83 to WTI on ICE, compared with $3.73 yesterday.
“We were expecting some stabilization for both Brent and WTI this week,” Olivier Jakob, managing director of Zug, Switzerland-based analysts Petromatrix GmbH, said by e-mail. “WTI is in an $80 to $85 trading range and looking for new news or stats before breaking one way or the other.”
U.S. crude stockpiles probably increased by 3 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg before the EIA report. That would be a third weekly advance. Supplies rose by 1.2 million, the industry-funded API said yesterday.
The API in Washington collects information on a voluntary basis from operators of refineries, bulk terminals and pipelines. The government requires that reports be filed with the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.
Investors are buying into funds that track oil prices at the fastest rate in two years, betting that crude will rebound from a bear market. The four biggest oil exchange-traded products listed in the U.S. received a combined $334 million this month through Oct. 20, the most since October 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.