WTI Little Changed Before Inventory Report; Brent Gains

West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed before an Energy Information Administration report that may show U.S. inventory growth slowed. Brent rose.

Crude stockpiles may have increased 3 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 17, a Bloomberg survey showed. The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that supply climbed 1.2 million, according to Bain Energy. Inventories advanced almost 14 million barrels in the first two weeks of this month. Both WTI and Brent are paring their collapse into a bear market.

“Everybody is waiting for the EIA report,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “It looks like the pace of the build is slowing.”

WTI for December delivery fell 7 cents to $82.42 a barrel at 10:17 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The November contract expired yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was about 31 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for December settlement rose 45 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $86.67 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 27 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $4.20 to WTI on ICE, compared with $3.73 yesterday.

Gasoline stockpiles probably fell by 1.45 million barrels to 204.2 million last week, according to the Bloomberg survey.

Crude Inventories

Crude inventories increased to 370.6 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 10, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. That’s the highest level since July. Supply at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI futures, rose to 19.6 million.

The API report showed an increase of 988,000 barrels at the hub last week, according to Bain. 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.

Both WTI and Brent had plunged more than 20 percent from their June highs, meeting the common definition of a bear market. Oil is rebounding as banks including BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp. predict the rout may be over.

“Crude appears to be building up a bit of a base for a rebound at the moment,” Michael Hewson, a 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.”

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.

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