Oil traded near $39 a barrel before weekly U.S. government data forecast to show increasing crude stockpiles kept supplies at the highest level in more than eight decades.
Futures were little changed in New York after slipping 0.2 percent Monday. Inventories probably rose by 3 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Indonesia will attend a meeting of major oil exporters in Doha next month to consider an output freeze, according to Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said.
“The size of the crude inventories combined with the fact we’ve seen a significant rally in prices is going to limit gains,” Ric Spooner, a chief analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone. “Oil is in a short-term downtrend.”
Oil tumbled to a 12-year low this year before rebounding on speculation the global surplus will ease as U.S. output declines. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela agreed last month they would cap production at January levels if other producers followed suit to tackle a global oversupply.
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at $39.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 8 cents, at 8:29 a.m. Hong Kong time. The contract lost 7 cents to close at $39.39 Monday. Total volume traded was about 56 percent below the 100-day average.
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Brent for May settlement was 9 cents lower at $40.19 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract fell 17 cents to $40.27 Monday, the lowest close since March 15. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of 88 cents to WTI.
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