West Texas Intermediate crude headed for a record-long slump as supply concerns eased in Iraq and Libya and inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, rebounded from a five-year low. Brent also declined.
Futures dropped for a 10th day, poised for the longest retreat since the contracts began trading in 1983. Libya’s production rose as output from the western Sharara field climbed, National Oil Corp. said. The fighting in Iraq hasn’t spread to the south, home to more than three-quarters of its crude output. Stockpiles at Cushing, WTI’s delivery point, rose last week by the most since January, government data showed yesterday.
“The market continues to retreat as the geopolitical premium is pushed out of the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The fundamentals weren’t supportive. Yesterday’s slightly bearish oil inventory report is also weighing on the market.”
WTI for August delivery dropped 24 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $102.05 a barrel at 10:36 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slid $1.11 to $102.29 yesterday, the lowest close since May 16. The volume of all futures traded was 8.2 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
After dropping more than 4 percent since June 25, WTI is still trading near the highest level for this time of year since 2008. Prices are more than $20 higher than the 10-year average of $79.94.
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