West Texas Intermediate crude headed for the first weekly loss in four weeks as rising inventories signaled ample U.S. supplies. Brent oil slipped as Russia pulled back most of its troops from the border with Ukraine.
WTI fell for a third time this week. Crude stockpiles climbed 1.66 million barrels to 393 million last week, the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday. Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, has withdrawn a majority of its military forces from the Ukrainian border, Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said today.
“The builds in crude inventory are weighing on the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The market has a hard time attracting fresh buyers with U.S. inventories near record highs. The Russians pulled their troops back and that probably diminished some geopolitical risk.”
WTI for July delivery slid 76 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $102.82 a barrel at 9:17 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 41 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 1.5 percent this week and up 3.1 percent this month.
Brent for July settlement dropped 48 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $109.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 15 percent below the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.67 to WTI, compared with $6.39 yesterday.