Brent crude traded near its lowest closing level in nine months on speculation that supplies remain sufficient to meet demand. West Texas Intermediate was near a six-month low.
Futures were little changed in London. In Iraq, Kurdish exports remain unaffected by turmoil that also has spared supply from the nation’s south, home to more than three-quarters of its crude output. Libyan lawmakers ordered feuding militias and other groups to end their fighting. Crude stockpiles remain above last year’s level in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“Market participants are overestimating the current level of oversupply on the market, while at the same time underestimating the risks of future production outages,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report.
Brent for September settlement rose 3 cents to $104.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12:52 p.m. local time. It closed at $104.59 yesterday, the lowest since Nov. 7. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $7.61 to WTI, after closing at $7.67 yesterday. The grade has lost 5.6 percent this year.
WTI for September delivery advanced 9 cents to $97.01 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It declined earlier to $96.55 a barrel, the lowest since Feb. 4. The volume of all futures traded was about 5 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 1.4 percent this year.