Demand Concern sees Brent and West TX Converging

Brent crude’s premium to West Texas Intermediate narrowed to near a four-month low on concern slowing emerging market growth will sap global demand while U.S. prices are buoyed by cold weather and the start of a pipeline.

Brent declined for a third day to near its lowest intraday level in almost three months. The European benchmark was at a premium of $8.94 a barrel to WTI on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, compared with $9.61 yesterday. The gap contracted to as little as $8.06 yesterday, the least since Oct. 18. Tightening credit conditions in China could curb fuel use in the country, threatening as much as half of this year’s global oil demand growth, according to Citigroup Inc.

Snow will start falling across Boston and New York again later today, the National Weather Service said. U.S. distillate supplies, including diesel and heating oil, probably fell by 2.2 percent last week, according to a Bloomberg survey. About $2.9 trillion has been wiped from the value of equities worldwide this year, as China’s growth slows and anti-government protests spread in emerging markets from Thailand to Ukraine.


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