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Oil Declines Ahead of U.S. Stockpile Data Amid Choppy Trading


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(Bloomberg) Oil fell after a three-day climb as investors weighed data that pointed to an increase in US inventories.

Brent futures, the global benchmark, lost 0.9%. Prices have struggled for meaningful direction in recent days as trading volumes have thinned out with summer getting underway in the Northern Hemisphere.

US inventories of crude expanded by almost 2 million barrels last week, estimates from the American Petroleum Institute showed, according to people familiar with the figures. Gasoline holdings also rose, despite being a time of year when they would normally be expected to drop, due to high consumption for travel.

Crude futures have been volatile in recent weeks

Crude has fluctuated around $100 a barrel this month as traders weigh the impact on demand from a potential recession, as well as broad appetite for risk and wider market moves. After hitting a record last week, the dollar weakened — making commodities including oil more attractive — while a pipeline outage has tightened the US market.

GLJ
GLJ

“Oil prices are reversing course at the time of writing amid expectations of swelling US oil inventories,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd., in a research note.

Prices:
  • Brent for September settlement was 0.9% lower at $106.39 a barrel by 10:06 a.m. in London.
  • WTI for September delivery fell 1% to $99.77 a barrel.
    • The August contract, which expires Wednesday, slipped 0.8% to $103.40.

With the oil market struggling for traction over the summer, trading activity has dwindled. Open interest — the total number of contracts held by traders — for West Texas Intermediate has fallen to its lowest level since 2015, according to CME Group Inc. data.



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