West Texas Intermediate crude fell for the third time in four days as speculation that fuel demand will decline outweighed concern that Middle Eastern exports may be disrupted by political unrest.
Futures slid as much as 0.9 percent after the World Bank yesterday cut its forecast for global economic growth. Presidential elections will be held tomorrow in Iran, holder of the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves. Protesters returned to Istanbul’s Taksim Square a day after Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to halt two weeks of anti-government demonstrations. U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week, government data showed.
“Investor sentiment is mixed between hopes for the economic recovery on the one hand and disappointing economic data on the other,” said Hans van Cleef, energy economist at ABN Amro Bank in Amsterdam. “Economic growth will increase somewhat in the second half, but nonetheless it will remain very modest and that will keep a lid on oil prices,”
WTI for July delivery dropped as much as 86 cents to $95.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.51 at 12:29 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 13 percent below the 100-day average. The contract climbed 50 cents to $95.88 yesterday, the highest settlement since June 7.
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