West TX Oil Below $103 as Brent Premium Widens

West Texas Intermediate crude fell from a three-week high, widening its discount to Brent as the European Union threatened tougher sanctions against Russia over the downing of Malaysian Air Flight 17.

The U.S. benchmark August contract, which expired today, slipped before a government report tomorrow that may show crude inventories fell 2.9 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey. Brent declined less than WTI as Russian President Vladimir Putin came under pressure from the EU to expedite the probe into the air crash in eastern Ukraine.

“WTI ran up yesterday a little bit too much,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The Brent-WTI spread is widening again. We are seeing some geopolitical concern creeping into Brent.”


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