West Texas Intermediate traded near the lowest price in more than 16 months on estimates that crude inventories increased last week in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent fell in London.
Futures were little changed in New York. Crude stockpiles probably expanded by 750,000 barrels last week to 363 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report today. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are among the countries that joined the first wave of U.S.-led air strikes in Syria against Islamic State.
“The market focus has shifted from supply risks to oil glut fears to weak oil demand,” Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS AG in Zurich, said by e-mail. There is “strong crude oil supply in the U.S.”
WTI for November delivery was at $91.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 1 cent, at 1:09 p.m. London time. The contract closed at $91.52 on Sept. 22, the lowest since May 1, 2013. The volume of all futures traded was about 16 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices have decreased 7 percent this year.
Brent for November settlement fell 27 cents to $96.58 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.05 to WTI on ICE. The spread closed at $5.29 yesterday, the narrowest level in a week.