West Texas Intermediate crude declined from its highest closing level in seven weeks on estimates that U.S. supplies rose last week. Brent slipped as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian leaders.
Crude stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, probably increased for the 13th time in 14 weeks, a Bloomberg News survey shows before Energy Information Administration data tomorrow. Russia and the U.S. traded blame for failing to rein in extremists in Ukraine as a diplomatic accord, reached last week to ease the crisis, neared collapse. Vice President Biden is meeting with officials in Kiev today.
“U.S. stocks are up massively, U.S. production is further on the rise,” Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG, said by e-mail. “Other than Ukraine there are not so many factors to support.”
WTI for May delivery, which expires today, slid as much as $1.13 to $103.24 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and traded for $103.39 at 1:30 p.m. London time. The more-active June future was 96 cents lower at $102.69. The grade closed at $104.37 yesterday, the highest settlement since March 3. It was at a discount of $6.72 to Brent on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Brent for June settlement slipped 55 cents to $109.40 a barrel on ICE. The contract climbed 42 cents to $109.95 yesterday, also the highest close since March 3. The volume of all futures traded was about 25 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
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