West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes fell before U.S. economic data that may signal slowing growth, curbing fuel use in the biggest oil-consuming nation.
Crude in New York slipped for the fourth time in five days amid forecasts that an index of U.S. service industries dropped this month. An upsurge in fighting in Libya hasn’t spread to oil-export terminals and the conflict in Iraq spared the country’s main oil-producing region. WTI slid last week after government data showed that gasoline stockpiles rose to a four-month high as demand declined.
“The fundamentals are putting a little pressure on the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “We have ample supplies and limited demand. The problems in Iraq and Libya don’t appear to have had any major impact on supply.”
WTI for September delivery dropped 79 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $101.30 at 9:10 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 18 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Brent for September settlement dropped 89 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.50 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 55 percent lower than the 100-day average. The European benchmark crude traded at a $6.20 premium to WTI, down from $6.30 on July 25.