US oil falls ahead of expected rise in its supplies
NEW YORK, United States—US oil prices fell Tuesday as traders awaited the next day’s US government report on commercial inventories, expecting an increase that would add to abundant global supplies.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November delivery dropped 34 cents to $45.55 a barrel compared with Monday’s close. The futures contract expired with the settlement.
Meanwhile, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December, the global benchmark, edged up 10 cents to $48.71 a barrel in London.
Traders awaited the release Wednesday of data on US commercial crude-oil inventories for last week. The Department of Energy is expected to report supplies rose by 3.75 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey of experts.
“I think the market is readying for a significant build,” said Robert Yawger of Mizuho Securities. However, he said, the DoE could also report another decline in US crude-oil production, “offering some degree of support.”
Prices were under some pressure by news that Saudi Arabia’s crude stockpiles were at record highs and expectations of increased Iranian output with the potential lifting of Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“Iran’s energy minister is adding to this depressed outlook, stating at an industry conference in Tehran that the country would aim to restore its share of global crude exports within months of the sanctions being lifted,” said Kash Kamal, senior research analyst at Sucden Financial.
Traders also awaited a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC technical experts in Vienna on Wednesday, amid a push by some producers including Venezuela for action to raise prices.
“While in theory there is some slim chance that there might be some movement toward a joint effort to limit production in support of prices, we believe the agenda will run more toward the sharing of market data,” said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.
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