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Oil pared losses after the Energy Department reported a decline of more than 6 million barrels in inventories.
Supplies dropped 6.22 million barrels to 330.8 million in the week ended Nov. 18, the Energy Department said today. Inventories were forecast to rise 500,000 barrels, according to the median of 13 analyst estimates.
Crude oil for January delivery dropped $1.83, or 1.9 percent, to $96.18 a barrel at 10:36 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was $95.60 before the inventory report.
Oil also declined as a shortfall of bids in a German bond sale signaled a deepening of Europe’s debt crisis and U.S. government said orders for durable goods fell in October.
Germany failed to get enough bids at an auction of benchmark 10-year bunds to reach its sales target, signaling the two-year-old debt crisis that began in Greece and snared Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain has closed in on France and now Germany, the world’s fourth-biggest economy.
U.S. bookings for equipment meant to last at least three years declined 0.7 percent, less than forecast, after a 1.5 percent drop the prior month that was more than twice as large as originally reported, data from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington.
A Chinese preliminary purchasing managers’ index conducted by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics shows a reading of 48, compared with a final number of 51 last month. A number below 50 indicates a contraction.
Brent oil for January settlement decreased as much as $1.70 to $107.33 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European contract’s premium to West Texas crude widened to $11.42 a barrel from $11.02 at yesterday’s settlement. The spread rose to a record of $27.88 on Oct. 14.
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