West Texas Intermediate crude oil (NYMEX:CLU14) was little changed before government data that’s projected to show that U.S. crude stockpiles slipped last week. Brent (NYMEX:SCU14) rebounded after touching a 13-month low on a slowing Chinese economy.
U.S. crude supplies fell a seventh week, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg before an Energy Information Administration report today. Brent slipped as much as 0.6 percent after a Chinese credit gauge plunged while growth in factory production slowed. Kurdish forces fought to retake positions overrun by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tried to cling to power.
“WTI is stuck right now because of the upcoming inventory report and the geopolitical worries, especially in Iraq,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “It looks like there will be another drawdown in crude supplies in today’s data.”
WTI for September delivery rose 7 cents to $97.44 a barrel at 9:10 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 32 percent below the 100-day average. The contract fell 0.7 percent to $97.37 a barrel yesterday, the lowest close since Aug. 7.
Brent for September settlement gained 34 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $103.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract touched $102.37, the lowest intraday level since July 1, 2013. The European benchmark crude traded at a $5.92 premium to WTI, up from $5.65 yesterday.