WTI Crude Trades Near Three-Day Low Before Fed Meeting

West Texas Intermediate traded near its lowest closing level in three days as traders assessed an unexpected drop in U.S. durable goods orders before a meeting of the Federal Reserve. Brent fell in London.

Futures were little changed in New York. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years decreased 1.3 percent after falling 18.3 percent in August, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. Fed policy makers begin a two-day meeting today after six weeks of volatility in global financial markets.

“The Fed meeting is the talk of the day, so last-minute positioning is most likely the theme of the day,” Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark, said by e-mail.

WTI for December delivery gained 8 cents to $81.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 1:06 p.m. London time. Yesterday’s closing price of $81 was the lowest since Oct. 22. The volume of all futures traded was about 10 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices have declined 18 percent this year.

Brent for December settlement fell 9 cents to $85.74 barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $4.65 to WTI on ICE.

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