West Texas Intermediate fell for a third day, extending the biggest decline in two months, after government data showed distillate-fuel and crude stockpiles increased in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Futures dropped as much as 0.6 percent in New York, extending a 1.8 percent loss yesterday. Distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, gained last week, the Energy Information Administration reported. They were forecast to shrink in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Crude stockpiles climbed for a seventh week while supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, slid to the lowest level since February 2012 with the opening of a new pipeline.
“The real surprise for markets was the build in distillate stocks,” Mark Pervan, the head of commodity research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said in an e-mailed note today. “The build in crude stocks was once again confined to the Gulf Coast as Cushing stocks fell.”
WTI for April delivery declined as much as 59 cents to $100.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $100.97 at 12:05 p.m. Sydney time. The contract dropped $1.88 to $101.45 yesterday, the lowest settlement since Feb. 14. The volume of all futures traded was about 42 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for April settlement decreased 20 cents to $107.56 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $6.59 to WTI. The spread ended yesterday’s session at $6.31, widening for the first time in seven days.